Researchers at Big Blue have created a silicon switch that can direct trillions of bits of data each second within an optical network. This switch would make it possible to put a network with the speed and bandwidth of a fiber-optic telecommunications network inside of a computer.
Within the next decade, engineers expect to build computers with tens, if not hundreds, of processing cores. They have not, however, found a way to get the cores to efficiently communicate with each other, as traditional metal wires are simply not capable of transmitting information at the speeds required. The new silicon switch could be the solution to allowing the cores to communicate with each other in a multicore system.
However, the researchers don’t expect the switch to find its way into commercial computers until five or ten years from now. Hopefully they can find a way to integrate it before we get stuck with slow (well, slow for the time) computers. [via Technology Review]
Tags: bandwidth, fiber-optic, ibm, multicore, silicon, silicon switch
Verizon, working with Yale University and software developer Pando Networks, recently conducted a test of new P4P software that intelligently routes peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic.
The new software reduces network utilization and speeds up downloads for subscribers by reducing the number of hops that packets have to take. Essentially, the P4P software allows data to travel shorter distances to reach the same destination.
P2P traffic (used for applications like torrents and high-def video streaming) is a major contributor to the data traveling over the internet. In fact, Verizon estimates that about half of the traffic on its network comes from P2P applications.
This new technology, if implemented by all internet providers, would make it cheaper to operate their networks and give subscribers higher speeds – especially for high-bandwidth connections such as Verizon’s FiOS.
We applaud Verizon for taking this approach to fix the growing bandwidth problem. Unlike Comcast, which resorted to blocking most P2P traffic, Verizon is trying to solve the problem on their end and provide better service for the subscribers.
Tags: bandwidth, internet, p2p, p4p, streaming, verizon, yale university
French researchers announced recently that they have been able to transfer data optically at a speed of 16.4Tbps (that’s terabits per second, or about 17 billion kilobits per second). Yes, that’s over 11 million times faster than today’s DSL connections.
At these rates they were able to transfer 2.05TB or about 100 HD movies every second. The researchers believe their work could eventually lead to 100Gbps ethernet connections.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this is that the transfers weren’t happening over a few inches or feet. On the contrary, the data was traveling over a whopping 1,500 miles. With this the researchers have set a world record for bandwidth capacity by distance.
The research, performed at Bell Labs, involved several new technologies such as a “highly linear, balanced optoelectronic photoreceiver and an ultra-compact, temperature-insensitive coherent mixer.” Yeah, we have no idea what that means either.
So what will come of all of this? Bell Labs claims that this research will “pave the way to the future of communications.” Most importantly, the researchers’ work shows that the potential for higher bandwidth is present, and we just need to learn how to utilize it.
Tags: bandwidth, bell labs, internet
Internet2, a nonprofit advanced networking consortium in the United States, is designing a new network that can open up paths with large amounts of dedicated bandwidth when they’re needed.
Currently, the Internet Protocol (IP) that’s in use breaks data into packets that are sent through fiber-optic cables to their destination. However, the packets don’t have to take the same path. Routers examine each packet individually and send it off on its way. The problem with this system is that large data transfers can clog the routers with many packets asking where to go next. This can result, for example, in skips in streaming video if the packets arrive out of order or at different times. Read more »
Tags: bandwidth, internet, internet2, streaming
Bill Watkins, CEO of hard drive giant Seagate, has said that Blu-ray’s apparent victory over HD DVD doesn’t mean much. His reasoning? Downloads are the future.
Said Watkins, “Blu-Ray versus HD: Well maybe Blu-Ray won, but it’s a meaningless victory. … Because guess what: People are going to download everything.”
Of course, the words are coming from the mouth of the beast himself. It sure would be profitable for huge downloads to replace Blu-ray when it means bigger hard drive sales. And we’re talking much bigger!
Today’s bandwidth is not even close to being able to handle such downloads, but who knows what will come with time. Most likely, Watkins’ prediction will come true. Most analysts and tech watchers agree that movie downloads are in the future.
Tags: bandwidth, bill watkins, blu-ray, downloads, hd dvd, internet, seagate