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Networking Technology

Terabit Ethernet Inches Closer To Reality 182

Posted by kdawson
from the beyond-electronics dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from Australia, Denmark, and China have combined efforts to show the feasibility of terabit-per-second Ethernet over fiber-optic cables. The solution involves a photonic chip that uses laser light for switching signals, and a form of the exotic material type, chalcogenide, or arsenic trisulfide."
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Terabit Ethernet Inches Closer To Reality

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  • no good (Score:2, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888)
    I'm sorry. I'd like to be able to have my terabit ethernet runs over distances longer than a few inches.
  • Not that I would ever use a terabit connection for porn... but uh, when's that coming out again?

    • by Wrexs0ul (515885) <[mmeier] [at] [racknine.com]> on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:15PM (#26845837) Homepage

      Not really. It's a well-known fact a lot of innovation is driven by the porn industry. This stuff is probably being sponsored by the Ultraporn [wikipedia.org] coalition to put their digital media online.

      Imagine streaming video so clear you can actually sense the actresses' emotional issues!

      -Matt

      • by StikyPad (445176)

        Imagine streaming video so clear you can actually sense the actresses' emotional issues!

        I thought that's what prostitution was for?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Being someone who works at a porn company with multiple dedicated lines buried under the ocean, I can say this is very true. We test all the equipment we have to the limits.

        I worked for a lot of mom and pop companies that thought they had problems.

        We are pretty much a dedicated Foundry and Cisco debugging team.

        When a single server gets over 10,000 hits a second (yes, second, not minute) - it tends to stress your equipment.

        Times that by a few hundred servers and you get the idea.

        I used to deal with simple PH

      • by Narpak (961733)

        Imagine streaming video so clear you can actually sense the actresses' emotional issues!

        Not to mention all the scar-tissue from aesthetic surgery and skin ravaged by too much make-up. High-resolution could be a bit of a problem for some; thankfully they are making improvements to CGI every year.

      • Imagine streaming video so clear you can actually sense the actresses' emotional issues

        That would actually make it better. Some broad ruins her life completely to make me happy for a few minutes. Kinda balances out marriage.

    • by MoFoQ (584566)

      funny thing...I was thinking that exact thing when I first read it...that and...I need to get a bigger hard drive. Also..."damn it....I just upgraded my home network to gigabit"

      either way...reminds me of that video on *tube...you know the "For PORN" song.

  • sweet (Score:4, Funny)

    by _avs_007 (459738) on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:04PM (#26845675)

    Now I can finally get started on building my holodeck.

  • What value? (Score:5, Funny)

    by pig-power (1069288) on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:06PM (#26845711)
    Tera ethernet... 5-25 gig monthly caps... "I used my monthly cap in 31.65 seconds..UH O..."
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Spazztastic (814296)

      Tera ethernet... 5-25 gig monthly caps... "I used my monthly cap in 31.65 seconds..UH O..."

      That would mean the telco companies actually decided to give us enough throughput. Sure, it'll work well on a LAN when they eventually deploy it, but unless if you have fiber coming to your house and all the way to where you're trying to grab that episode of Desperate Housewives from it will not go that fast. You also have to account for your neighbor who is addicted to porn and downloads it constantly seeding at 100% for days on end.

      • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:18PM (#26845887) Journal

        You also have to account for your neighbor who is addicted to porn and downloads it constantly seeding at 100% for days on end.

        Hey, don't talk about me like that when I'm not around ;)

        • by michrech (468134) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:10PM (#26846645)

          You also have to account for your neighbor who is addicted to porn and downloads it constantly seeding at 100% for days on end.

          Hey, don't talk about me like that when I'm not around ;)

          Only two minutes from OP to reply -- You type pretty fast for only having one hand available!

    • Actually, 1 Terabit/s = 125GByte/s. So that 25GB cap would take... Wait for it... 0.2 seconds of continuous downloading :)

      Then again, by the time bandwidth like that is cheap enough for us, it'll be cheap for the telcos as well, and we'll probably be moaning about the petabyte bandwidth caps on our $20/mo plans.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mister Whirly (964219)
        Well, it would only take .2 seconds if the sending server was serving you up packets that fast. Somehow I doubt you would get maximum throughput speed. I know I never hit the full 100 Mb speed of my network when connecting to a server on the net.
      • ah but are we talking HDD GB or O/S GiB
        1Tib could well fill 25GB of your hard drive in 0.18s, but an ISP would have to be a complete douche to use such units of measurement...

  • Too early? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Tbps ethernet seems a bit early. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the average read on a SATA somewhere around 5 Gbps?
    • by imamac (1083405)
      I think 3 Gbps is closer to the norm.
      • by Glonoinha (587375)

        Sustained real world throughput for SATA drives is somewhere in the 500Mbps range - that's 60 Megabytes per second for single-threaded sustained reads or writes. Mix it up a little by having multiple applications access the drive at the same time and throughput can drop a full order of magnitude (in the range of 6 Megabytes per second.)

        Given that, yes TerE is serious overkill for anything you are not already using (and continually saturating) GigE for. I'd say about the only situation where TerE would rea

        • by jandrese (485)
          Unless your shared storage solution was absurdly large TbE is still going to be overkill. Even 10GbE is difficult to sustain without half a rack full of machines. 40GbE is still considered overkill for pretty much anything outside of an internet backbone link. TbE is more bandwidth than you can handle.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by norkakn (102380)

      10 Gbps is already normal in server rooms. OC-768 is in the wild at around 40 Gbs. 100 Gbs is definitely around in labs, but I'm not sure if any of it is retail yet.

      SATA doesn't have to be very fast, because a single hard drive isn't very fast.

    • Re:Too early? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:26PM (#26845979) Journal
      If you have, say, a bundle of fiber running across the Pacific that would cost you 9,334 bazillion dollars and a battle with the giant enemy crab just to upgrade; being able to increase its capacity just by upgrading the hardware on each end is a very attractive proposition. This applies, to a lesser degree, in all but short run situations.

      This isn't exactly destined for workstations in the near future(heck, neither is 10GigE, and that is more or less commodity-off-the-shelf stuff by now); but there are applications where higher speed per fiber could well be desirable.
      • by gatkinso (15975)

        Crab People... Crab People...

    • Re:Too early? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LoRdTAW (99712) on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:31PM (#26846057)

      I suppose you forgot about internet back bone links. Terabit Ethernet should hopefully enable Tier 1 ISP's to provide really fat pipes to ISP's so we can finally get more bandwidth. The bigger the backbones the faster our broadband can be. Well at least that's my fantasy. 100mbit boradband should be cake walk with tubes that fat.

      • Ted Stevens, your internet is ready.
    • by Reapman (740286)

      This is no different then 10Gig Ethernet. Your not using this for Desktop, but in large ISP backbones to handle traffic. I'm sure this is years away from practical use even in there however.

      Wake me up when Cisco offers 1TB Blades.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by QuantumRiff (120817)

      The article talks about using DWDM [wikipedia.org] to basically multiplex multiple 40Gbps wavelengths on the same fiber. Separating out the wavelengths at the other end is the part where the speed limitation seems to be. 40Gbps has been around for awhile, and so has DWDM.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      True, but you can slice it up to many customers using less cabling. SO it might be terabyte to your nod, but then everyone gets a paltry Gigabyte for the last 100 yards.

    • I thought everybody had a striped RAID with 300 SATA disks these days. Is it just me?

      At any rate, the idea (at least at first) would be that the switches and routers are all linked up with Tbps Ethernet. Then users hanging off of these with Gbps Ethernet could transmit to each other at full speed.

    • by Hyppy (74366)
      We have a full-heigh (~2 meter tall) enclosure full of Fibre Channel and SATA disks for a network attached storage appliance. I've never seen us use more than 5Gb/s in network throughput total.
  • by geekmux (1040042) on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:17PM (#26845877)

    "...a form of the exotic material type, chalcogenide, or arsenic trisulfide.

    Whew, for a minute there I was worried we were going to use some hazardous materials.

    • by von_rick (944421) on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:26PM (#26845989) Homepage
      But its got what networks crave, its got electrolytes.
    • by Rayeth (1335201)
      Actually materials like that are used in semiconductors all the time. Gallium-Arsenide is a popular doping material in fact. There is a lot more arsenic in your computer right now than you expect. As long as you're not eating it, everything is fine.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      You laugh (me too) but I'd sure like to know what we're going to do with all the Arsenic we have lying around. I mention it often, but here in Lake County California we have a superfund site full of the stuff. If we could bind it up and then dope something with it that would be very stable, it might give us a future use for the stuff that would let us not dump it into a concrete pit, fill it up, then pave over the pit, build some new walls, and add more arsenic.*

      * I don't know that they're actually doing th

  • by El Torico (732160) on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:17PM (#26845881)

    Too bad my bullshit detector only operates at about 500 words per minute.

  • ...of the entire internets. just right click the network icon, select "save as" and name the file. Wait 30 seconds for the entire internets to download.
    • by Xtravar (725372)

      ...of the entire internets. just right click the network icon

      What, I thought the blue E icon was the internet! I don't get it!

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday February 13, 2009 @01:29PM (#26846033) Homepage Journal
    The solution involves a photonic chip that uses laser light for switching signals, and a form of the exotic material type, chalcogenide, or arsenic trisulfide."

    Once you have the photonic chip installed, you will need to realign the deflector shield to output a graviton pulse through the arsenic trisulfide to create an anti-tachyon pulse which will modulate itself based upon the resonant frequency of the transport medium, thus allowing for longer distance transmittal of data than is currently possible.

    Granted, it will take 15 years and research team of a hundred to complete, but it is doable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ionix5891 (1228718)

      Seven is that you?

    • Once you have the photonic chip installed, you will need to realign the deflector shield to output a graviton pulse through the arsenic trisulfide to create an anti-tachyon pulse which will modulate itself based upon the resonant frequency of the transport medium, thus allowing for longer distance transmittal of data than is currently possible.

      Granted, it will take 15 years and research team of a hundred to complete, but it is doable.

      No, they can do it in the middle of a pitched battle and before the next commercial.

    • Re:Still needs work (Score:5, Interesting)

      by eggboard (315140) on Friday February 13, 2009 @02:08PM (#26846611) Homepage

      Okay, I'm the author of the Ars Technica piece, and that make me laugh.

      Talking to the researcher, Eggleton, made my head slightly explode, because he's looking 5 to 20 years into the future with the research he's on top of today.

      But they have practical devices that show that the stuff can be hand-built, and that's what blows my mind.

      The future isn't in plastics -- it's in glass!

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The future isn't in plastics -- it's in glass!

        You almost had me for a minute, but then I got to thinking, what do you think they're going to ship all that glass in?

        • by eggboard (315140)

          This is a funny day at Slashdot. +3 guffaw points.

          Actually, I was thinking chalcogenide could be a good new name for a mixed drink. Maybe grenadine, liquid oxygen, and something fizzy.

          • Fizzy, like Alka-Seltzer?
          • "Chalcogenide" sounds more like an alien war crime to me -

            "You stand or sit or squish whatever it is you're doing with those tentacles,
            ahem, you stand charged with 1st degree Chalcogenide of a cixz of innocent Glugyws. How do you plead?

            "Gleeble poot zoooom pop! Zorn digqsstdfft pop!"

            [Judge bangs photonic ultra-gavel]

            "Don't try to diffract me! I don't care whether their Abbe numbers were lower than your specification! You are accused of having them Schott! No spreading dispersions on the victim's indexes wil

    • by Eil (82413)

      Granted, it will take 15 years and research team of a hundred to complete, but it is doable.

      See that Borg ship out there? You have 5 minutes if you don't want to be a member of its crew.

  • In one trillionth of a second, light travels .3 millimeters.

    So the receiver has to be able to not only detect that bit, but process it in time for the next bit that's right behind it.

    Pretty impressive.

  • In a desperate attempt to put an end to file sharing by users, legal or not, RIAA has started a program to train rats to chew the connection cables and let them loose all over Europe.
  • The place where I immediately saw this being applied was in multiprocessor systems. Short distance. Admittedly, 3 inches is still a bit short, but was that mentioned as a transmission distance limit? I don't think so.

    This might make a dynamite system bus for a multi-computer system. It would probably reach between motherboards. It may not really be "Infinilink", but then neither was the bus that was given that name.

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