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posted by Dopefish on Thursday February 27 2014, @09:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the super-fast-downloads-of-animated-gifs dept.
visaris writes "Phys.org reports researchers at IBM have set a new record for data transmission over a multi-mode optical fiber. The record data rate of 64Gb/s was achieved over a cable 57 meters long, using non-return-to-zero (NRZ) modulation with a type of laser called a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL). Researcher Dan Kuchta notes, "Others have thought that this modulation wouldn't allow for transfer rates much faster than 32 Gb/s." Indeed, many researchers thought that achieving higher transmission rates would require turning to more complex types of modulation, such as pulse-amplitude modulation-4 (PAM-4). The achievement demonstrates that standard, existing technology for sending data over short distances should be able to meet the growing needs of servers, data centers and supercomputers through the end of this decade, according to the researchers. "What we're showing is that [...] this technology has at least one or two more generations of product life in it," says Kuchta."
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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by clone141166 on Thursday February 27 2014, @10:34AM

    by clone141166 (59) on Thursday February 27 2014, @10:34AM (#7880)

    That's great news, if I had this technology I could make sure I got first post on SoylentNews articles even faster!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @03:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @03:19PM (#7993)

      Or you could back up your porn collection in under five minutes.

      • (Score: 1) by mrcoolbp on Thursday February 27 2014, @05:15PM

        by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Thursday February 27 2014, @05:15PM (#8052) Homepage

        Or you could back up your porn collection in under five minutes.

        Hmm, 32 Gb/s, clearly you don't know me very well.

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    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by forkazoo on Thursday February 27 2014, @05:25PM

      by forkazoo (2561) on Thursday February 27 2014, @05:25PM (#8059)

      Of course, having to be within 60 meters of the server probably gives you some advantage regardless of the specific interconnect...

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by NecroDM on Thursday February 27 2014, @10:56AM

    by NecroDM (376) on Thursday February 27 2014, @10:56AM (#7883)
    From TFA:

    should be able to meet the growing needs of servers, data centers and supercomputers

    And also the growing internet needs for more pr0n! We all know what the internet is for

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by TheRaven on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:49PM

      by TheRaven (270) on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:49PM (#7944) Journal
      At 57 meters, it's not really useable for the Internet. It might be useful for datacentre usage, but in that space latency is much more likely to be the limiting factor than bandwidth.
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      sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by NecroDM on Thursday February 27 2014, @02:44PM

        by NecroDM (376) on Thursday February 27 2014, @02:44PM (#7966)
        True, at 57 meters it's usefulness is limited to datacenters and supercomputers that are in its range however since it's optic fiber latency shouldn't be an issue afaik. Here's wiki reference regarding latency on optic fiber (it's the speed of light/1.5 in average) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latency_(engineering) #Fibre_optics [wikipedia.org]
        • (Score: 1) by davester666 on Thursday February 27 2014, @06:53PM

          by davester666 (155) on Thursday February 27 2014, @06:53PM (#8080)

          Well, it just happens to be long enough to connect to the NSA room...

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Angry Jesus on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:03PM

          by Angry Jesus (182) on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:03PM (#8086)

          however since it's optic fiber latency shouldn't be an issue afaik.

          Over short distances, like interconnects, latency is mostly a function of the transceiver and receiver electronics than it is of the fibre (or copper). That includes protocol overhead (error correction, packetization, clocking, etc) too.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by TheRaven on Friday February 28 2014, @09:23AM

          by TheRaven (270) on Friday February 28 2014, @09:23AM (#8385) Journal
          As the other poster said, the latency over the fibre is not the limit. Unless you have an optical processor, at both ends you need to convert the optical signal into an electronic one. This adds a fairly noticeable amount of latency, typically more than using an electrical signal over the length for short runs. This gets significantly worse when you have a switched network, rather than a point-to-point connection, because the switches are also electrical (there are some research prototypes of purely optical hubs, but nothing in production that I'm aware of), so every switch involves an optical-electronic-optical conversion, plus the switching / buffering time. This can add up to several ms, which can completely offset the improvement in bandwidth for anything remotely synchronous.
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          sudo mod me up
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @12:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @12:34PM (#7910)

    ...with our 300 baud modems?

    Such a waste.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by chebucto on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:52PM

    by chebucto (36) on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:52PM (#7945) Journal

    I was surprised to see IBM's name in a fiber-speed-record article, but it makes sense given their business in supercomputing.

    One stupid question: how are speeds this fast used? 32GB/s is faster that a lot of RAM, so I doubt it's for sending files to disk. Is this for CPUs to communicate directly with each other & each other's RAM?

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by visaris on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:56PM

      by visaris (2041) on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:56PM (#7947) Journal
      "Is this for CPUs to communicate directly with each other & each other's RAM?"

      This is common in HPC. All the new interconnects support one-sided communication. So, one node can RDMA into another node's memory without involving either of the nodes' CPUs much.
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by bob_super on Thursday February 27 2014, @10:34PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday February 27 2014, @10:34PM (#8150)

      If it's too fast for your RAM... you put more RAM in parallel.

      More seriously, 400G Ethernet (on single-mode fiber) is becoming a reality, 100G is becoming widely deployed (for big backbones).
      ASICs have been able to run that kind of speeds for a while, FPGAs for the last couple years. 32G is peanuts in the datacom R&D world (don't expect to afford it any time soon)

    • (Score: 1) by cafebabe on Monday March 03 2014, @03:56PM

      by cafebabe (894) on Monday March 03 2014, @03:56PM (#10088) Journal

      Is this for CPUs to communicate directly with each other & each other's RAM?

      Yep. Checking a neighbor's RAM is quicker than checking your own harddisk.

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