Australian Researchers Create World’s Fastest Internet Connection Using Single Chip

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. pull (something) off / pʊl ɔf / (phrasal) – to be successful in doing something

    We didn’t have enough people to finish the project on time, but we were able to pull it off by working overtime.

  2. enormous / ɪˈnɔr məs / (adj) – describing something that has a large size, amount, or extent

    The discovery that the Earth revolves around the sun was an enormous advancement.

  3. skyrocket / ˈskaɪˌrɒk ɪt / (v) – to increase or rise quickly

    The company’s sales skyrocketed last week because of its new campaign.

  4. fabrication / ˌfæb rɪˈkeɪ ʃən / (n) – the process of making a product

    The fabrication of metal parts will start next week.

  5. scale up / skeɪl ʌp / (phrasal) – to make the size or amount of something larger than it used to be

    The company needs to scale up its production to cater to the rising demand.


Read the text below.

A team of researchers in Australia has recorded the fastest internet speed in the world using an optical chip that is the size of a fingernail.

According to the researchers, they recorded a speed of 44.2 terabits per second, which is enough to download over a thousand high-definition movies in less than a second. The team was able to pull this off by replacing around 80 lasers with a single soliton crystal micro-comb, which is a type of optical chip.

For this study, the researchers placed the chip onto fiber-optic cables laid over a 76.6-kilometer area between RMIT University Melbourne Campus and Monash University Clayton Campus. After testing the system’s performance, the researchers found that it was able to achieve a speed one hundred times faster than that of any single fiber network device in Australia.

Professor David Moss, one of the study’s authors, said that this development is an enormous breakthrough for the fiber-optic network industry, especially now that the demand for the internet has skyrocketed.

Aside from enhancing internet infrastructures around the world, the team believes that the new optical chip will also help revolutionize other industries, including transportation, e-commerce, medicine, and education.

The chip can be created using the same fabrication processes for manufacturing commercially available computer chips. With this development, the researchers expect the production of the new technology to scale up quickly.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think all internet providers will adopt this technology? Why or why not?
• Which industry do you think will benefit most from this breakthrough (i.e., transportation, e-commerce, medicine, education)? Why?

Discussion B

• What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of having a fast internet connection? Discuss.
• Aside from the internet industry, what other industries do you think should be improved in terms of their infrastructures (e.g. electric power industry, telecommunications)? Discuss.