Researchers Set Record for Network Data Transfer

Researchers have set a new world record for data transfer, helping to usher in the next generation of high-speed network technology. At the SuperComputing 2011 (SC11) conference in Seattle during mid-November, the international team transferred data in opposite directions at a combined rate of 186 gigabits per second (Gbps) in a wide-area network circuit. The rate is equivalent to moving two million gigabytes per day, fast enough to transfer nearly 100,000 full Blu-ray disk, each with a complete movie and all the extras, in a day. 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. Harvey Newman, professor of physics and head of the high-energy physics (HEP) team say that by sharing their methods and tools with scientists in many fields, they hope that the research community will be well positioned to further enable their discoveries, taking full advantage of 100 Gbps networks as they become available. In particular, they hope that these developments will afford physicists and young students the opportunity to participate directly in the LHC’s next round of discoveries as they emerge.