Skip to main content

AAA game downloads in 2 milliseconds? It’s possible

A Wi-Fi router with an ethernet cable plugged in.
Getty Images

Internet speeds have come a long way since the glory days of 56kbps dial-up connection. However, even if you’re now the happy owner of a speedy broadband connection, it still has nothing on the record that engineers from Japan were able to achieve. Using standard fiber optic cables, they claim to have set up a connection that hit a data transmission rate of 402Tbps — yes, that’s terabytes per second.

This incredible record was achieved by a team of engineers from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), and they described it in an in-depth paper. While reading the paper would certainly be easier for those of us who may have a Ph.D. in network engineering, the tech used to achieve that 402Tbps milestone is advanced, but based on established principles. The team utilized 50 kilometers (a bit over 30 miles) of fiber optic cabling. They also employed lots of transmission bands, signal amplifiers, and gain equalizers to maintain signal integrity.

The record 402Tbps rate, or 50.25TB/s, beats the previous world record by around 25%, according to PCGamer. The total signal bandwidth reached 37.6THz. Those numbers are so big that they’re difficult to put into perspective, but being able to download 50 terabytes per second is pretty insane. With a connection like that, you’d be able to download all of Red Dead Redemption 2 (120GB) in 2.4 milliseconds. You could download your entire Steam library so quickly that you’d blink and miss it.

Table comparing internet speeds.
NICT

Unfortunately, your PC, or my PC, or anyone else’s personal computer would not be able to handle that kind of speed. Most PCs still only support 1Gbps Ethernet connections, but if you get one of the best motherboards, you might get one that’s rated at 10Gbps. Even then, that’s nothing compared to the 50TB/s the engineers at NICT were able to achieve, and it’s only one part of the problem — there are no SSDs that could support anywhere near this type of data transfer rate, not to mention offering that type of storage.

It’s hard to imagine that we might one day live in a world where data transfers like this are actually attainable at home, but it was also difficult to imagine that we’d have 1Gbps (or faster) internet connections in our homes two decades ago.

For now, the record set by engineers from NICT is a novelty and proof that it can be done. The rest of us need to settle for whatever our local ISPs can provide, and the most we can do is try to increase our internet speed in other ways.

Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
Game dev on Intel’s unstable CPUs: ‘I might lose over $100K’
Intel's 14900K CPU socketed in a motherboard.

Intel's best processors have been crashing for months, and despite many attempts, the issue is nowhere near being fixed. In fact, the impact might be far worse than we thought.

Original reports about stability issues with the Core i9-13900K and the Core i9-14900K came from PC gamers, but now, we're hearing that they're crashing in servers, too. That can lead to serious damage, with one game dev estimating the instability may cost them up to $100K in lost players.

Read more
Best Prime Day laptop deals in 2024: Surface Pro, Razer, HP, Dell
Prime Day 2024 laptop deals graphic.

We're so close now. Prime Day 2024 is only a week away. It kicks off on July 16 and runs for two days until the 17. However, the discounts are already starting to sprout up, so we've collected some early Prime Day deals on laptops below. We've also broken down what to expect for the main event and how to approach buying a new laptop during Prime Day. This page will be ever-evolving (bookmark it!) as we know more, the event approaches, and more deals become available. Looking for something beyond laptops? Deals exist beyond laptops, of course, and we'll be covering all of the big categories and items you want in our main Prime Day deals coverage.

Today's best laptop deals
Prime Day officially runs from July 16 to July 17. If you want the most options in your deals, you should wait until then to buy a laptop. But, if you're struggling to keep that new laptop itch at bay, there are great laptop deals all year round. While we encourage you to wait until next month to get the widest selection, there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of a deal right now, so long as it suits you.

Read more
Gemini AI is making robots in the office far more useful
An Everyday Robot navigating through an office.

Lost in an unfamiliar office building, big box store, or warehouse? Just ask the nearest robot for directions.

A team of Google researchers combined the powers of natural language processing and computer vision to develop a novel means of robotic navigation as part of a new study published Wednesday.

Read more