Saturday, 13 August 2022

Google's new submarine cable will link the United States with Argentina

The world of submarine cables is fascinating. Since 1866, more than a billion meters of submarine cables have been installed , which are basically the main responsible for our having internet at home. But if they were few, Google is going to add a few (quite a few) more meters with Firmina.

What is Firmina? An open submarine cable that will run from the east coast of the United States to Las Toninas, Argentina , and will have landing points in Praia Grande (Brazil) and Punta del Este (Uruguay). It will be a huge cable, no doubt, and precisely for that reason it is striking that it is able to work with a single power supply at one end (in case it is necessary).

A huge cable to improve access to Google services




Within submarine cables there are meters and meters of fiber optic cables through which data travels in the form of pulses of light. That light signal, they explain from Google, is amplified every 100 kilometers with a high-voltage electric current that is applied, precisely, in the landing stations in each country (in this case, Brazil and Uruguay).

Thus, shorter cables have a certain advantage in that they can have a better power supply from only one end, while longer cables with more pairs of fiber cables have it more complicated. The Google cable will have 12 pairs of cables and, if necessary, it will be able to work with a single power supply from one end. According to Google:

"Firmina will be the longest cable in the world capable of fully operating on a single power source at one end of the cable if its other power sources are temporarily unavailable."

This is possible thanks to the fact that the cable is supplied with a voltage 20% higher than that of previous systems, the company said in a statement. The goal of the cable is to transport traffic "quickly and securely between North and South America" ​​and offer users "fast, low-latency access to Google products," see Gmail, YouTube, and other Google Cloud services.



It is not Google's only submarine cable, far from it. One of the most recent is Dunant, a long-distance cable with 12 pairs of fiber optics and the capacity to carry up to 250 Tbps that connects the United States with Europe. In the image below we can see Google's infrastructure and its current cable network.



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