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OptIPuter Set to Transform the Sciences With Parallel Optical Networks

OptIPuter Set to Transform the Sciences With Parallel Optical Networks
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optiputer logoThe bottleneck in computing these days is principally the limited bandwidth of telecommunications networks, but emerging fiber optic networks are set to change all that. Now a research program called OptIPuter, which stands for Optical networking, Internet Protocol, computer storage, processing, and visualization technologies, is being designed to "exploit a new world in which the central architectural element is optical networking, not computers - creating 'supernetworks'.... Essentially, the OptIPuter is a 'virtual' parallel computer in which the individual 'processors' are widely distributed clusters; the 'memory' is in the form of large distributed data repositories; 'peripherals' are very-large scientific instruments, visualization displays and/or sensor arrays; and the 'motherboard' uses standard IP delivered over multiple dedicated lambdas." Branches of the sciences that generate massive amounts of data - on the terabyte and petabyte scales - will be able to interactively combine datasets from multiple databases located around the country or the world through optical networks. The OptIPuter program is currently developing and testing the system in collaboration with EarthScope, which manages the USArray seismology research program, and the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) program of the National Institutes of Health.
Submitted by elementlist on Dec 12, 2005
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