Last Wednesday, UCSB announced the launch of the Terabit Optical Ethernet Center (TOEC), a new research center focused on developing the technology for advanced terabit-speed networks.
“We’re going to need much faster networking to handle the explosion in internet traffic and support new large-scale applications like cloud computing,” Daniel Blumenthal, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSB and the director of TOEC, said in a press release.
The center has set its goals to enable one terabit Ethernet over optical fiber by 2015 and 100 terabit Ethernet by 2020.
Ethernet is the effective standard for computer communication over a network, whether local or global in scale. Although the technology is constantly evolving, at the present rate it will be unable to support the next generation’s need for information flow.
Due to the amount of power needed to run and cool the systems, current Ethernet technologies can achieve little more than 100 gigabits per second. New developments will have to be energy-efficient as well as cost-effective as a result.
“Our goal,” Blumenthal said in a press release, “is to make energy-saving technologies that will allow applications and the underlying networks to continue to scale as needed. You could think of it as greening future networks and the systems that rely on those networks.”
According to Blumenthal, it will require a lot of hard work to advance the state of Ethernet toward TOEC’s goal.
“We’re going to need dramatic breakthroughs across multiple disciplines,” Blumenthal said in a press release, “not only in the core Ethernet technologies but in Ethernet-based networking and in the engineering and measurement systems used to develop and test these new technologies.”
The TOEC has partnered with big names such as Google, Verizon and Intel to work toward Ethernet technology a thousand times faster and more energy efficient than current networks.