Data speed coup paves way for higher bandwidth

A team of researchers has set a new data transmission speed record over the Abilene Network, the Internet2 backbone.

A team of researchers has set a new data transmission speed record over the Abilene Network, the Internet2 backbone.

Internet2 is a group of more than 200 universities that work with the technology industry and government to develop the next generation Internet.

The researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena and Geneva-based Cern transferred data across nearly 11,000km at an average speed of 6.25Gbits per second. The achieved speed is about 10,000 times faster than a typical home broadband connection, according to Cern.

The speed record was set in the Internet2 Land Speed Record competition and was announced yesterday at the Spring 2004 Internet2 member meeting in Arlington, Virginia.

The Caltech and Cern team had previously set a mark of 4Gbps over the same distance from Los Angeles to Geneva using next-generation IPv6 protocols. The 6.25Gbps record was set using existing IPv4 protocols.

The record-setting work is important for the development of grid networks used by scientists. Home users are unlikely to need this type of bandwidth in the near future.

Studies have shown that high-energy physics, astrophysics, fusion energy, climatology, bioinformatics and other fields will need networks that can transfer data in the terabit per second range within the next 10 years, said Harvey Newman, a professor of physics at Caltech.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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