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Arizona boffins get a grip on their newly-fat pipe

'Dark fibre' equivalent to 700 HD smut channels

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Genetics boffinry IT chiefs in Arizona are overjoyed today to unveil their new and incredibly fat pipe, which will be used to transmit staggeringly enormous amounts of scientific data from the labs where it's generated to the supercomputer where it's processed.

The new link runs from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in downtown Phoenix to the Arizona State University's "Saguaro 2" 50-teraflop uberputer at the High Performance Computing Initiative eight miles away in Tempe.

The TGen boffins are chuffed with the new fatness, as they routinely generate outrageous amounts of data which then needs analysing. A typical piece of boffinry will result in 7 terabytes of info. The existing hookup between TGen and Saguaro 2 is a paltry 67 megabits/second, meaning that it takes over a week to squirt the data across. It would be easier to simply put some hard drives in a truck and drive the information there.

The geneticists are especially upset as they have plans to run even more comprehensive genetic sequencing experiments, routinely producing 30 TB. Rather meaninglessly, the ASU press office say that this is equivalent to "an iPod with 15 million songs".

Putting that into terms we can all understand, one might say that if you had that amount of uncompressed 1080p full high-definition pornographic video, it would take four days without sleep to watch it.

However, the ASU It chiefs have called in Canadian defence contractor Obsidian Strategics Incorporated, who will introduce a new "dark fibre" link (one employing as-yet-unused fibre trunks laid down in the past to allow for future expansion). The Canadian experts reckon they can achieve a solid 18,000 Megabit/second connection - comfortably a thousand times faster than the fastest of home broadband available today in the UK.

This will allow a gene-sequencing data dump to fly from the TGen labs to the Saguaro 2 numbercrunch silo in a mere hour. If one were to use a pipe of such fatness as an uncompressed-1080p HD smut hose, it could fill 23 screens simultaneously without trouble. Using compression, and accepting a less detailed but still pleasingly sharp 720 x 480 image, it would be possible to satisfy no fewer than 700 vid-hungry onanists at once - approaching the magical "kilowrist barrier".

"Having this very high-speed link helps position TGen as being a leader in biomedical data analysis," said TGen boffinry-IT boss James Lowey.

It seems that the Canadian consulate in Phoenix lent a hand with the project. ®

Bootnote

Vid figures courtesy of Microsoft.

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