New technique transmits data at 2.8 Gbit/sec

A test conducted by two Chicago computer scientists to push transatlantic high-speed data transmission has resulted in a new top speed of 2.8 Gbit/sec.

Researchers Joel Mambretti, director of the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University, and Robert Grossman, director of the Laboratory for Advanced Computing and National Center for Data Mining at the University of Illinois at Chicago, set the speed record on September 24 during a presentation in Amsterdam at iGRID 2002, a biennial conference held to showcase new applications over high-performance networks.

Mambretti and Grossman developed a novel technique they call Photonic Data Services (PDS) to send Gigabyte amounts of data at speeds more than 500 times faster than the standard protocol now used to send data over the Internet.

PDS layers and integrates four network protocols to fully use network capacity at maximum speeds. The application may prove especially effective for data mining, a research technique used for managing extremely large volumes of information.

‘By combining these protocols, it is now possible to analyse gigabyte-size data sets anywhere in the world,’ said Grossman.

‘PDS allows an application to create specialised, high-performance network connections on demand,’ said Mambretti. ‘For the first time these types of connections will be available to large-scale global applications.’

Mambretti and Grossman said this type of data communication service could benefit several businesses and research fields, including bioinformatics, financial services, geosciences, computational research and industrial design. They said their technique would enhance performance and management of information transmission on national, international and global networks.

The transmission test linked Amsterdam to Chicago using a state-of-the-art optical connection called NetherLight, part of the Dutch research network SURFnet, and the Chicago-based StarLight, a switch/router optical network facility built for high-performance research applications.