Using a new type of optical fiber, researchers at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have transmitted data over a single optical fiber at a speed of 43 terabits per second (43 Tbps) to set a new data transmission world record. This beats the previous record of 32 Tbps set by researchers at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Although the High-Speed Optical Communications (HSOC) team at DTU Fotonik had previously achieved the world's highest combined data transmission speed of 1 petabit per second (Pbps) using hundreds of lasers, the team's 43 Tbps record was achieved with a single laser in the transmitter, making it much more energy efficient.

The new record was made possible by using a new type of optical fiber borrowed from Japan telco NTT that contains seven glass thread cores instead of the single core found in standard optical fibers. Although the seven cores allows the fiber to transfer more data, the team says it does not take up any more space than a standard optical fiber.

The team says the quest for faster and faster data transmission speeds will help in the development of technology that will accommodate the ever-increasing growth of internet traffic, which it estimates is growing by 40 to 50 percent annually, simultaneously increasing bandwidth while cutting energy consumption.

The team says its new record has been verified and presented in a post deadline paper at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) 2014 international conference held in San Jose, California last month.