Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

A faster and more energy efficient internet thanks to new device

Credit: University of Otago

The internet is one of the single biggest consumers of power in the world. There is constant pressure to find new solutions that will increase its speed and capacity.

The challenge was answered by a team of scientists from the University of Otago, in New Zealand, with the creation of a novel device that could enable the next generation of faster more energy efficient internet.

As reported, the microresonator optical frequency comb is a device that transforms a single colour of laser light into a rainbow of 160 different frequencies, with each bean totally in sync with each other and perfectly stable.

The Current Situation

The device, made out of a tiny disc of crystal, could replace hundreds of power-consuming lasers currently used to encode and send data around the world.

The internet is powered by lasers. Every email, mobile phone calls and website visit is encoded into data and sent around the world by laser light.

In order to cram more data down a single optical fibre, the information is split into different frequencies of light that can be transmitted in parallel.

The current infrastructure is struggling to cope with demand as internet consumption increases significantly.

Lasers only emit one colour at a time. Thus, if the application requires many different colours at once, more lasers will be needed.

All of them cost money and consume energy. The idea of these new frequency combs is that one colour is launched into the microresonator a whole range of new colours comes out.

The Microresonator

This breakthrough is the first milestone in a government-funded collaboration between scientists at the University of Otago and the University of Auckland, who are part of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Quantum and Photonic Technologies.

This is a virtual organisation gathering New Zealand’s top researchers working in the fields of light and quantum science.

It is a national Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), hosted by the University of Otago, involving six NZ universities.

The research project has been awarded nearly NZ$ 1 million of Marsden Fund money.

The optical frequency combs are based on a very unusual optical effect that happens when the intensity of light builds up to extremely high levels.

A single colour of visible light is sent into the crystal disc along with a microwave signal. Because the crystal disc is such high quality, the light and microwave radiation gets trapped inside.

The light and microwave radiation would keep pouring in and bouncing around inside the crystal.

In most situations light never changes colour. But in this case, the intensity becomes so high that the light and the microwave radiation start merging and making different colours.

The phenomenon is known as a non-linear effect and it has taken the team many years to optimise.

Other Applications

The internet is just one of the possible applications for the new optical frequency combs.

Another use is high-precision spectroscopy, which uses laser light to study and identify the chemical composition, properties and structure of materials including diseases, explosives and chemicals.

Optical frequency combs have literally revolutionised every field of applications they have touched. They can be used for vibrational spectroscopy, distance measurement, telecommunications.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.