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Terabit communications – tasks, challenges, and the impact of disruptive technologies

Glesk, I. and Davidson, A. (2015) Terabit communications – tasks, challenges, and the impact of disruptive technologies. In: 21. konferencia slovenskych fyzikov. Slovak Physical Society, Košice, pp. 1-6. ISBN 978-80-971450-7-1

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Abstract

Throughout history, effective communication has been of THE most critical importance to all civilisations, the means employed being underpinned and enabled by the greatest scientific breakthroughs of the age. Today we live in an information age and consequently there is a growing need to send vast amounts of data both securely and at the shortest time possible across the globe. However, to keep pace with this demand it is critical that the capacity of future communication networks is able to perform accordingly. However it is an open secret that to achieve this is becoming an increasingly difficult task. In this paper we explore key technological milestones and breakthroughs that have enabled to support rapidly the growing demand for data. This will be followed by a discussion of the drivers of this demand, the socio-political consequences of this development, and the technical challenges we must overcome if demand is to be met into the future. These technical challenges encompass issues of CMOS scalability, power consumption, and data centres & network switching abilities.