Personal tools
You are here: Home Research Trends & Opportunities Future Internet and Optical Quantum Communications

Future Internet and Optical Quantum Communications

(United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland - Alvin Wei-Cheng Wong)

The Future of the World Economy is a Knowledge Economy — 

the Internet, its Backbone



- Overview

Over the centuries, new technologies have ushered in a new era of incremental change in every aspect of life and revolutionized countless industries. The invention of the steam engine ushered in the Industrial Revolution, expanding trade and transportation. Quantum physics is the foundation of the electronic revolution that brought us transistors, televisions, radios, and computers. The Internet has sparked an amazing information and communication revolution that still sends shockwaves through nearly every industry and at the core of our culture and way of life. 

The Internet is a vast network of connections that allows information to be transferred back and forth between users. On the Internet, everything is data. From your favorite websites to the shows you watch on Netflix, everything you watch on the internet has to be streamed to your device before it becomes the image you see on your screen.

The speed at which this happens depends on the infrastructure that handles the task. Much of the journey is handled by high-capacity connections between cities and stretching across oceans — what we might call the Internet's "backbone" — but residential consumers also depend on a more complex infrastructure that connects communities and individual homes to that backbone. These finer connections are called "last mile" connections.


- The Internet - A Critical Infrastructure In The Digital Age

In our digital world, the internet has long been an essential part of the infrastructure. Larger and larger streams of data flow tirelessly across the globe. Connectivity is an indispensable foundation for future technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality. Digitization is impossible without the Internet. The Internet provides the infrastructure to connect digital infrastructure and services on demand at software speeds through secure software-defined interconnections. Extend hybrid deployments for network agility with simple, secure, direct connectivity to partners and providers. 

As we move deeper into the next technological revolution, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, the Internet of Things, and more are transforming our daily lives, and the things we do and the way we do things are changing dramatically. But the shift to breakthrough capabilities and insights requires a robust network backbone with the speed and weight of next-generation 5G wireless networks.

The future Internet is the general term for the research activities of the new Internet architecture. The future of the internet is what we shape for the next generation. Humanity must be at the center of the future Internet. No one can predict the future of the internet, but it's too important to ignore. Most believe that the internet will continue to shape our digital future.   

- The Future of The Internet: The Rise of Decentralization

As new technologies develop and gain attention, the public tends to fall into two categories: those who believe the new technology will have an impact and grow, and those who don't. The former is often true, so understanding how future technologies will differ from the status quo is critical to preparing them for mass adoption. 

The Internet is arguably the most important technological revolution in human history. However, some important challenges remain, and much remains to be done to ensure equitable and equal access to life-changing digital connections for everyone around the world. 

In a decentralized Internet, power and control are distributed rather than centralized. In the future, the internet will increasingly be powered by decentralized technologies like blockchain and peer-to-peer networks, rather than controlled by a few government entities or large corporations. This will allow for greater privacy and security and will reduce censorship. 

A decentralized internet will also enable new types of applications and services that are not possible on the current centralized internet.


- The Web and The Internet

The World Wide Web, or simply the Web, is the pages you see when you use your device and are online. But the Internet is the network of connected computers that the network runs on, and it's also the network for e-mail and file transfer. Think of the internet as the roads that connect towns. The World Wide Web contains things you see on the road, such as houses and shops. Vehicles are data that moves -- some move between websites, others will transfer your email or files across the Internet independently of the network. 

To say that our relationship with the web has fundamentally changed over the past 10 years would be an understatement. The beams of light that pass through fiber-optic glass, and the high-frequency wireless signals that go in and out of our phones, make it possible to download anything at near-instantaneous speeds almost anywhere in the developing world. The children grew up meeting many relatives mainly through glowing tablets. 

In the Internet of the future, digital (online) activity will merge with the virtual and physical worlds to create lifelike, immersive experiences. Brands, schools, employers and individuals will all operate their own virtual worlds where people can come together to learn, play, work or socialize.

The Metaverse—a persistent, shared digital environment in which we can move from one activity to another using the same avatars, digital assets, and preferences—brings together Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and technologies such as digital twins to create a more immersive, real and engaging Internet.


- Wireless 5G and The Internet

All 5G wireless devices in the cell are connected to the internet and cell phone network via radio waves via the local antenna in the cell. 5G networks are designed to connect more devices than traditional cellular networks. We are in the early stages of this technological revolution, but the development of 5G and its relationship to smart devices will have an impact on all industries, especially automotive, healthcare and IoT.

We are at the beginning of a new era characterized by digitalization and the Internet of Everything. The goal of the next-generation Internet is to spontaneously enable any required bandwidth between any and all actors or data centers through abstraction and automation. For this, continuous further development of existing technologies is required and, in addition, new ways of integrating infrastructure, software and services must be conceived. 

Efficient data processing is becoming more and more important - in the future, it is conceivable that analysis will already be performed during network transmission.


Stanford University_080921A
[Stanford University]

- Fiber Optic Technology Powers the Internet

Fiber-based networks make up the bulk of the Internet backbone. Undersea fiber optic cables spanning thousands of miles connect continents, exchanging data at nearly the speed of light. At the same time, the large data centers that host all of our cloud-based applications also rely on fiber optic connections. These fiber optic connections are increasingly going directly into people's homes, providing them with fast, reliable internet.

Fiber optic connections can transfer more data faster than other types of connections. This is possible because fiber optic technology uses light rather than electricity to transmit data at higher frequencies. Fiber optic cables made of glass or plastic are also less susceptible to electromagnetic interference than metal cables.

Coax has a theoretical top speed of 10 Gbps, but you'll never experience that in real-world conditions. Fiber's theoretical top speed is so fast it's hard to actually pin down, but it's generally thought to be somewhere north of 1 petabit per second. 1 PB is 1,000 TB, and 1 TB is 1,000 GB, so 1 Pbps is a million times faster than 10 Gbps.

Installing a new fiber network is a significant capital expenditure for service providers, but maintaining existing networks is not cheap either. As the cost of maintaining aging copper networks increases over time, more providers will choose to upgrade to fiber. Consumer demand for better and faster broadband will also drive investment in newer, faster technologies.


- The Future of Quantum Computing

Quantum computers aren't just about doing things faster or more efficiently. They'll let us do things we couldn't even dream of without them. Things even the best supercomputers can't do. They have the potential to rapidly accelerate the development of artificial intelligence. Google is already using them to improve software for self-driving cars. They are also important for simulating chemical reactions.

Currently, supercomputers can only analyze the most basic molecules. But quantum computers operate using the same quantum properties of the molecules they are trying to simulate. They should have no problem with even the most complex responses. That could mean more efficient products — from new materials for electric car batteries, to better, cheaper drugs, or vastly improved solar panels. Scientists hope quantum simulations may even help find a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Quantum computers will find use wherever large, uncertain, complex systems need to be simulated. From predicting financial markets to improving weather forecasts to modeling the behavior of individual electrons: using quantum computing to understand quantum physics, anything is possible.


- The Quantum Internet

Quantum computing won't be able to reach its potential without the help of another technological breakthrough. Call it a "quantum internet" -- a network of computers that can send quantum information between remote machines.

The quantum internet is a network that allows quantum devices to exchange bits of information in an environment that exploits the weird laws of quantum mechanics. In theory, this would give the quantum internet unprecedented capabilities that are not possible with today's web applications.

The quantum internet is a network of quantum computers that will one day send, compute and receive information encoded in quantum states. The quantum internet will not replace the modern or "classical" internet; rather, it will enable new capabilities such as quantum cryptography and quantum cloud computing. 

While the full impact of a quantum internet will not be known for some time, some applications have been theorized, and some of them (such as quantum key distribution) are already in use. It's unclear when a full-blown global quantum internet will be deployed, but researchers estimate that interstate quantum networks will be established within the next 10 to 15 years across the United States.


- The Quantum Internet and Quantum Teleportation

The quantum internet will not only send signals at a faster rate, but also send them more securely. The quantum internet would be based on a protocol called quantum teleportation, which would transmit quantum information from one node to another over long distances.

In the quantum world, data can be encoded in the state of qubits, which can be created in quantum devices such as quantum computers or quantum processors. In simple terms, the quantum internet will involve sending qubits across a network of physically separated quantum devices. Crucially, all of this happens because of uniquely eccentric properties of quantum states. 

This might sound similar to standard Internet. But sending qubits through quantum rather than classical channels actually means exploiting the behavior of particles at the smallest scales — so-called “quantum states” — that have delighted and frustrated scientists for decades.



[More to come ...]



Document Actions