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Petabit-per-second data transmission using a chip-scale microcomb ring resonator source


Optical fibre communication is the backbone of the internet. As essential core technologies are approaching their limits of size, speed and energy-efficiency, there is a need for new technologies that offer further scaling of data transmission capacity. Here we show that a single optical frequency-comb source based on a silicon nitride ring resonator supports data capacities in the petabit-per-second regime. We experimentally demonstrate transmission of 1.84 Pbit s–1 over a 37-core, 7.9-km-long fibre using 223 wavelength channels derived from a single microcomb ring resonator producing a stabilized dark-pulse Kerr frequency comb. We also present a theoretical analysis that indicates that a single, chip-scale light source should be able to support 100 Pbit s–1 in massively parallel space-and-wavelength multiplexed data transmission systems. Our findings could mark a shift in the design of future communication systems, targeting device-efficient transmitters and receivers.

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Fig. 1: The modelled communication system.
Fig. 2: Scaling capacity for sources in SDM.
Fig. 3: Chip-scale DPK comb.
Fig. 4: Petabit-per-second transmission experiment with a microcomb.

Data availability

The datasets and code for recreating the figures are available at ref. 53 as processed measurement results. The raw oscilloscope traces are available on reasonable request. Source Data are provided with this paper.

Code availability

The algorithms used for the digital signal processing at the transmitter and the coherent receiver are standard and are outlined in detail in the Methods. MATLAB scripts can be provided by the corresponding authors on reasonable request.


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This work by supported by the SPOC Centre (ref. DNRF123), the Swedish Research Council (grant no. 2016-06077, project iTRAN, VR-2020-00453 and VR-2015-00535), the ERC CoG (GA 771410), the H2020 Marie Skodowska Curie Innovative Training Network Microcomb (GA 812818), and the EU–Japan coordinated R&D project SAFARI supported by the MIC of Japan and EC Horizon 2020.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



A.A.J, M.R.H and Z.Y. developed the technique for generating and stabilizing the DKP comb source, and were supervised by M.G., J.W.T. and V.T.-C. D.K. designed the transmission experiment set-up, and H.H. and M.G. provided suggestions. A.A.J., D.K., M.R.H. and F.K. constructed the experimental set-up and performed the transmission experiment, and were supervised by H.H., M.G, J.W.T. and L.K.O. D.K. performed the data analysis of the transmission experiment data. L.K.O., D. K. and A.A.J. performed the theoretical modelling of transmission capacity. The overall concept was conceived by L.K.O., M.G., P.A., A.L., M.K., V.T.-C. and T.M. H.E.H., M.Y. and S.F. wrote and implemented the probabilistic shaping technique. Z.Y. fabricated the microring resonator, and was supervised by V.T.-C. and P.A. O.B.H. aided in numerical simulations of DKP combs, and was supervised by V.T.-C., P.A. and J.S. Y.S. and K.A. designed and produced the multicore fibre. T.M. Identified the fibre for the experiment. The manuscript was written by A.A.J, D.K., L.K.O and V.T.-C. All authors discussed the data.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. A. Jørgensen.

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Competing interests

V.T.-C and O.B.H. are co-founders of Iloomina, a start-up company that offers prototyping services for silicon nitride.

Peer review

Peer review information

Nature Photonics thanks Heng Zhou, Stojan Radic and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Table 1, Figs. 1–3 and Notes 1–3.

Source data

Source Data Fig. 2

Simulation results.

Source Data Fig. 3

Measured and simulated optical spectrum analyser data.

Source Data Fig. 4

Achieved and caculated data transmission rates.

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Jørgensen, A.A., Kong, D., Henriksen, M.R. et al. Petabit-per-second data transmission using a chip-scale microcomb ring resonator source. Nat. Photon. 16, 798–802 (2022).

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