TIC-TOC technology moves Tactile Internet a step closer to reality

Created January 21, 2019
Applications and Research

Researchers in South Korea have developed rapid information processing technologies in anticipation of the next generation of the Internet.

Researchers at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in South Korea have developed technology capable of sending packets of digital information at 25 Gbps – 10 times faster than currently available speeds. They say that the technology, named TIC-TOC, will be a “critical component of a future Tactile Internet, in which information is sent and received at speeds on par with human perception.”

TIC-TOC stands for “Time Controlled Tactile Optical Access” and is designed to work on 5G networks. The researchers anticipate the TIC-TOC technology will help advance virtual reality and augmented reality in all sorts of sectors, from education and healthcare, to entertainment and public safety.

The technology operates at a speed fast enough to download a 3 GB movie within one second. Furthermore, the TIC-TOC system enables more urgent data to jump ahead of other information packets and be transferred in one milli-second (1/1000 of a second), the same speed at which the human sense of touch works.

“The Tactile Internet is expected to be the fourth industrial revolution,” commented HwanSeok Chung, project leader at ETRI. “We will see robots, cars and all other machines connected to the Internet all around us. The Tactile Internet will enable humans and machines to interact with each other even from far away.”

Optical transceivers

The team developed TIC-TOC in order to help address the traffic jams that occurs within current information processing systems, causing delays. Described in the Journal of Lightwave Technology, the TIC-TOC technology consists of internet access control chips and optical transceivers to speed up data processing time.

The optical transceiver converts high-speed electrical data into optical signals to transmit over optical fibers. The chips guarantee latency is less than 1ms with ETRI’s new low latency-oriented packet scheduling technology controlling network traffic.

The developers add that these chips could further increase network speeds faster than 25 Gb/s by combining several channels for data transmission. “A few hurdles remain before commercialization such as system implementation. ETRI is continuing our research to solve such hurdles, and the tactile Internet enabled by TIC-TOC should be available in one year,” HwanSeok Chung concluded .

For more information, visit https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8447207



This article was written
by Matthew Peach

Matthew Peach is a freelance technology journalist specialising in photonics and communications. He has previously worked for several business-to-business publishers, editing a range of high-tech magazines and websites.