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New Record for Fibre Optic Data Transfer Speeds Set at 186Gbps

Posted: 19th Dec, 2011 By: MarkJ
global fibre optic broadband caltech logoAn international team of scientists working at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have set a new record for data transfer. The group was able to transfer data in opposite directions at a combined rate of 186Gbps (Gigabits per second) over a Wide Area Network (WAN) circuit, which is well beyond 2009's previous "peak-rate record" of 119Gbps.

The High-Energy Physics (HEP) team achieved the feat by using a 100Gbps circuit, which is run by Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network (CANARIE) and BCNET, to transfer data (98Gbps in one direction and 88Gbps in the other) between the University of Victoria Computing Centre (Victoria, British Columbia) and the Washington State Convention Centre (Seattle).

Professor Harvey Newman, Head of the High-Energy Physics (HEP) Team, said:

"Our group and its partners are showing how massive amounts of data will be handled and transported in the future. Having these tools in our hands allows us to engage in realizable visions others do not have. We can see a clear path to a future others cannot yet imagine with any confidence."

The technology should ultimately find its way into the next generation of undersea intercontinental fibre optics cable, as well as inland connectivity, which are expected to be built within the next two years. It will also help big science projects like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, which needs to move and crunch vast amounts of data every second.

Randall Sobie, HEP Team Member, said:

"The 100-Gbps demonstration at SC11 is pushing the limits of network technology by showing that it is possible to transfer petascale particle physics data in a matter of hours to anywhere around the world," adds Randall Sobie, a research scientist at the Institute of Particle Physics in Canada and team member."

The feat itself was achieved by using highly tuned servers, many of which contained new networking hardware that was still in the alpha to beta stages of development, and transfer applications like FDT. You can find more details by looking at an overview of the 100GE Network Demonstration. There's also a video on YouTube, although it merely restates what we've written above.
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