Thursday, 13 August 2009

OMG! Squee!

Ok I'm nerding out a bit here.

Scientists will collaborate with as-yet-unnamed hardware and software vendors to develop a prototype 100Gbps Ethernet network, which will be used to connect U.S. Department of Energy supercomputer centers.

The aim is to develop a network capable of handling 1Tb (terabit) per second, according to Michael Strayer, head of the Department of Energy's office of advanced scientific computing research.

That's enough bandwidth to project high def 3D images into your living room. And by living room, I mean the room, not a screen on the room. Think holo-deck and you'll be closer.

The thing to remember is, that's for a "local" network (devices a few hundred meters from each other). Long distance connections (e.g. The Internet) always lag local network speeds by a huge factor. (For instance, the fastest service available in Canada is apparently 50Mb, but contrast that with the fastest local network connection currently available, 10 Gb Ethernet. Thats 2000X faster than the "high speed" Internet connection. For rural areas 1.5 Mb is considered "high speed!")

The mind boggles exactly what would require 1 Tb of bandwidth. But I'm sure we'll come up with something.

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