Nokia tests 800Gb/s transmission to prep for Large Hadron Collider upgrade

Kit vendor Nokia has completed an optical transmission trial as part of a wider plan to upgrade the Large Hadron Collider.

Andrew Wooden

April 15, 2024

2 Min Read

The trial was conducted alongside SURF, described as ‘the collaborative organisation for IT in Dutch education and research’, and reached a single carrier 800Gb/s optical transmission over the latter’s existing cross border, multi-vendor research and education network infrastructure.

It was conducted over a 1648 km point-to-point fibre link connecting Amsterdam and Geneva, crossing Belgium and France, which is part of the SURF-network that connects national research and education institutes in the Netherlands.

It is also connected to other research networks and experiments around the world, including the LHC Optical Private Network (LHCOPN), which provides access to data at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN.

The transmission was based on Nokia’s photonic service engine technology, and is supposed to help accelerate the ‘massive’ data exchange between the CERN particle accelerator and the NL Tier-1 (NL T1) research IT facilities at SURF and Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics.

SURF is preparing its network for CERN’s LHC upgrade to the HL-LHC that will become operational in 2029, and which promises to produce ‘enormous amounts of scientific data.’

“Groundbreaking test events like this show how networks can play an essential role in initiatives that help unlock the secrets of the universe, and the role they play enhances our ability to learn and grow as a civilization,” said James Watt, Vice President and General Manager, Optical Networks at Nokia. “This trial is a testament to the innovation, collaborative spirit and leadership of both Nokia and SURF in the optical networking space. We are committed to helping SURF prepare its network for the upgrade of CERN’s particle accelerator, and look forward to working with other research and education networks around the world to advance their missions and enable cutting-edge discoveries.”

Ron Augustus, Chief Innovation Officer, member of the Board at SURF added: “We are proud to collaborate with Nokia and Nikhef in this successful innovative trial that pushes the limits of our existing fibre and shows us what is possible. This trial is an important milestone for us as we prepare our network for the future demands of scientific research and education, including the upgrade of CERN’s particle accelerator. By emphasizing testing and the adoption of advanced technology, SURF ensures optimal service and support for its research partners' innovative, data-heavy projects and applications.”

By reaching 800Gb/s per channel on older fibre varieties, Nokia and SURF claim that it proves that existing infrastructure still has ‘tremendous potential’, and that legacy optical fibres can be used to meet future capacity demands of the sort of hefty loads generated by international scientific research projects. Presumably this could be applied to more general network purposes than unlocking the secrets of the universe with particle accelerators as well.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

Get the latest news straight to your inbox.
Register for the newsletter here.

You May Also Like