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The Photon Connection

Photonics Spectra
Dec 1999
By 2050, fiber optics will link us all. The hot technologies will be optical computers and holographic data storage.

Lamont Wood, Contributing Editor

Wearable, miniature computers that moonlight as movie viewers with nearly unlimited selections. Enough bandwidth to simultaneously connect every living person through just one optical fiber. These are the applications that photonics should enable by 2050 in the areas of information transmission and storage, according to those who are currently conducting the foremost research in these fields.

Experts take it for granted that wavelength division multiplexing, the exciting communications enabler of the 1990s, will eventually be ubiquitous. They also assume that high-bit-rate multiplexers will be the norm, enabling nearly unlimited bandwidth for every man, woman and child on Earth.


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