Feeds

IBM stuffs 64Gbps of traffic down 'low quality' fibres

New short-haul speed record hailed as showing multimode fibre will be around for years

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

While there are politicians in Australia willing to argue that you can't predict the future capacity of fibre, IBM is doing just that, publishing an experiment that suggests the low-cost multimode fibres used for short-haul data centre links will support years of speed improvements.

What's interesting in this announcement isn't just the speed record (which probably won't last all that long anyway), but the demonstration that there's plenty of life left in fibres that are already in the field.

IBM used a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL if you're thrifty with keystrokes) to pump 64 Gbps down a multimode fibre, for a distance of 57 metres. This, the company says, is more than 2.5 times as fast as current commercial-grade technology, and 14 per cent faster than the previous record for multimode transmission.

Since the high data rate was achieved using standard NRZ (non-return-to-zero) modulation, researcher Dan Kuchta of IBM's TJ Watson centre says today's technology “has at least one or two more generations of product life in it”.

Kuchta's team used VCSEL lasers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden as their transmitters, and silicon developed at TJ Watson to get high speed and sensitivity.

“The driver chip incorporates transmit equalization, which widens the bandwidth of the optical link. While this method has been widely used in electrical communication, it hasn't yet caught on in optical communication,” Kuchta said.

IBM says around 80 per cent of the fibre links used in data centres and supercomputer installations are less than 50 metres long, so they should be able to achieve the higher speeds its group demonstrated, once the technology is commercialised. ®

Bootnote: Fibre speed records have to be handled with care, because they're application specific. The flat-out-fastest laboratory demonstrations reach well into the petabit range; and speed records claimed for long-distance or metro links over single mode fibre are a different class of “record” to this demonstration. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes
Linux Foundation lights a fire under storage devs with new conference
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?