NTT has developed a prototype chip that could increase communications speeds in data centers and submarine cables.
The chip can amplify a 100 Gigahertz (GHz) electrical signal in laboratory conditions, a key step towards 6G.
The ultra-compact baseband amplifier IC module is years away from being commercially released, but NTT expects to use the chip in future all-photonics networks.
NTT believes that its core optical network, Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN), will require transmission speeds of more than two terabits per second and a baseband amplifier IC module that can amplify the signal.
The company also believes the chip will be necessary for 6G, as it will require ultra-broadband signal amplification function rid of distortion.
NTT previously demonstrated an experimental optical transmission exceeding two terabits per second, but it required large prototype modules with external direct current (DC) block parts.
The new chip uses NTT's InP-based heterojunction bipolar transistor (InP HBT) technology, which uses indium phosphide instead of silicon, to incorporate the DC block function into the amplifier IC module.
The company said: "Since NTT’s development has a built-in DC block function and is ultra-compact, it can be directly connected to various devices, making it a highly usable module."