An international team of high-energy physicists, computer scientists and network engineers has set a new world record for data transfer, paving way for the next generation of high-speed network technology.
The team transferred data in opposite directions at a combined rate of 186 gigabits per second (Gbps) in a wide-area network circuit at the SuperComputing 2011 (SC11) conference in Seattle during mid-November.
The rate is equivalent to moving two million gigabytes per day, fast enough to transfer nearly 100,000 full Blu-ray disks—each with a complete movie and all the extras—in a day.
The team was led by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the University of Victoria, the University of Michigan, the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), Florida International University, and other partners.
According to the researchers, the achievement will help establish new ways to transport the increasingly large quantities of data that traverse continents and oceans via global networks of optical fibers.
These new methods are needed for the next generation of network technology—which allows transfer rates of 40 and 100 Gbps—that will be built in the next couple of years.
“Our group and its partners are showing how massive amounts of data will be handled and transported in the future,” said Harvey Newman, professor of physics and head of the high-energy physics (HEP) team.
“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,” he noted.