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A team led by Toyko University researchers has set a new "land speed record" for IPv6 Ethernet, transferring data over a distance of 30,000km at an application rate of 9.08Gbit/s.

The team leader, Dr Kei Hiraki, claimed this will not be beaten for the 10Gig generation because the contest organiser, the Internet2 consortium, demands that each new record shows a 10 per cent improvement over its predecessor.

The team actually broke the record twice - first sending 7.67Gbit/s using standard protocols, and then two days later sending 9.08Gbit/s using modified protocols - and they did so in both the single and multi-stream classes. The record-breaking run took place last December but has only just been reported, at a recent Internet2 members meeting in the US.

"These records are final for the 10Gbit/s era because they represent more than 99 per cent of the upper limit of network capacity," said Dr Hiraki.

He added that the test crossed six international IP networks, thanks to the team also including the WIDE Project, NTT Communications, JGN2, SURFnet, CANARIE, Pacific Northwest Gigapop, and other institutions. Data travelled from Tokyo to Chicago, on to Amsterdam, then Seattle, and finally back to Tokyo.

According to Chelsio, which developed the TCP-accelerating Ethernet adapters used by the team, the new record shows that IPv6 network devices are able to provide the same performance as IPv4 or better.

The speed record for IPv4 currently stands at 8.8Gbit/s, so could, in theory, still be surpassed. However, the next target for wire speed record junkies is rather more likely to be the upcoming 100Gbit/s spec for Ethernet, which is under development. ®

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