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Terabit-Per-Second Class Connections over FTTH

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the makes-for-great-gaming dept.

The Internet 117

Big Fat Dave writes "Thanks to research from Japan's Tohoku University, an article at Tech.co.uk wonders if someday the megabit and gigabit classes of net connections will join kilobits in the 'antique tech' bin. By doing some advanced mathematics and 'tweaking' existing network protocols, researchers may be able to enable standard fiber-optic cables to carry data at hundreds of terabits per second. 'At that speed, full movies could be downloaded almost instantaneously in their hundreds. At the heart of the development is a technique already used in some digital TV tuners and wireless data connections called quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). One glance at the Wikipedia explanation shows that it's no easy science, but the basics of QAM in this scenario require a stable wavelength for data transmission. As the radio spectrum provides this, QAM-based methods work fine for some wireless protocols, however the nature of the optical spectrum means this has not been the case for fibre-optic cables ... until now.'"

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ya but.. (3, Insightful)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391555)

At that speed, full movies could be downloaded almost instantaneously in their hundreds

Not until the PC buses catch up..

Re:ya but.. (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391599)

No "PC"s on "backbones" I think.

Re:ya but.. (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391645)

No "PC"s on "backbones" I think.

True, but the routers and repeaters on the backbone have buses don't they?

Re:ya but.. (5, Informative)

Ogun (101578) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391721)

Fastest backbone router that I know of is the Cisco CRS-1. It can scale to a system capacity of 92 Tbps in total, using 72 42U rack units as one large router. Still, the fastest interfaces on that machine is OC-768 at roughly 40 Gbps.

Re:ya but.. (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391771)

On one fiber?

Re:ya but.. (4, Informative)

funkboy (71672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21394101)

Probably because you haven't seen a Juniper T1600 [juniper.net] . It has 2.5x the per-slot bandwidth of the CRS-1. The Cisco marketing literature may go to 92tbps, but I challenge you to show me a production CRS multishelf system with more than one fabric shelf. Once T1600 modules are available for the TX Matrix the system will provide 6.4tbps in two and a half racks, using far less power than the equivalent real estate worth of CRS hardware (2.4tbps max), at about the same cost. BTW a fully configured 72-rack CRS-1 would require about .8 megawatts of power and belch about 2.5 million BTUs of heat per hour...

Erm, not that that's a biased viewpoint or anything (heh)...

Anyway, IMHO far more important to router scalability is the per-slot and per-watt bandwidth, not how many systems you can chain together (as long as you can chain some reasonably useful number, but I don't see a need for more than 8 chassis in a system). The CRS-1 won't be able to handle 100gE without a system-wide fabric upgrade or double-width cards or something. The T1600 (and for that matter, the Foundry NetIron X series, though not in the same class of capabilities or scalability as the Juniper) will be able to slot in 8 100gE linecards the day they're available.

separate channels (3, Interesting)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392445)

True, but the routers and repeaters on the backbone have buses don't they?

The way a lot of telco hardware gets around the limitation that no computer exists that's fast enough to process the full available throughput, is that the connection is split into hundreds of separate channels, each one on a separate wavelength. A particular router interface need only deal with one channel, not all of them at once. (A single channel might be an OC-192, which runs about 10 gbps.)

The channels are combined and split apart by a dense wavelength division multiplexer; I don't really know how they work, but if you think of it as an expensive prism you're probably not far off.

Re:ya but.. (3, Informative)

funkboy (71672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21394331)

> True, but the routers and repeaters on the backbone have buses don't they?

The 750hp 2.4L V8 engine in an F1 car produces about 3-4x the amount of power of a production car engine of the same displacement, but you don't see even high-end mfrs like Porsche putting that sort of thing in street cars (for reasons I hope I don't need to explain).

The data plane in high-end routers have custom-designed switch fabrics [wikipedia.org] , which technically are not buses and operate in a different (more scalable) fashion. The wiki article is actually on fibre channel, but the concept is the same. Cost alone precludes use of such components in PC hardware, not to mention various other factors.

That said, PCI Express is pretty damn nice when you start talking performance vs. cost (both per $ and per watt) when the number of high-bandwidth devices on the bus is low, and the existing plethora of 8 & 16 lane devices & motherboards and the potential to scale to 32 lanes (64gbit/sec) in the future mean that the bus in a modern COTS PC is not the bottleneck in high-performance networking on such hardware. The two things that are:

  - The ability of the operating system & host processor to handle the load offered by the networking stack at such speeds. Mitigated by techniques such as TOE [wikipedia.org] and interrupt mitigation & hardware polling [linux-foundation.org] . Done in hardware, getting cheaper, widespread implementation in common NICs not there or crappy (ahem, Realtek).

  - The bandwidth to the user's machine, which is what TFA is about...

Re:ya but.. (4, Interesting)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391659)

>No "PC"s on "backbones" I think.

Then no terabit connection for you. I dont care how fast the backbone is. Where I live the last-mile technology is DSL which for my location maxes out at 1.5mbps.

I think the "OMG LOOK HOW FAST TIS IS" kiddie-mentality of movies-per-second ignores the whole issue of last-mile distribution. And PC buses. And practility. And economics.

Youd think slashdot would have better things to post than PR releases.

Re:ya but.. (1)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392087)

I think the "OMG LOOK HOW FAST TIS IS" kiddie-mentality of movies-per-second ignores the whole issue of last-mile distribution

Yeah, at least of we got in LoCs per second, we'd be getting somewhere...

Re:ya but.. (2, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21395581)

Or my favorite metric:
http://www.nakedworldrecords.com/phone.htm [nakedworldrecords.com] , but I'm having trouble concentrating on calculating the bandwidth involved.

Re:ya but.. (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392531)

The practicality and economics is that in all larger construction projects here in Norway today, whether it's apartment blocks or new fields of housing they lay fiber connections. There are approximately two million households and about 150,000 (7,5%) of them can get fiber connections. Each year 30,000 new houses are built and many of them will have fiber connections, though lone houses don't qualify. If we say 25,000 a year (30,000 less lone houses plus retrofits) then over the next decade I expect that to rise to 150,000 + 10*25,000 = 400,000 (20%) for a conservative estimate. Oh yeah and we're considerably more sparsely populated than the US. Fiber has good end-mile economics as long as you're putting down cables anyway. Now, that wouldn't make it useful with a terabit last mile but if you want real capacity and not US "unlimited" capacity, then it's really nice if actually delivering is very cheap. And a few thousand people on gigabit connections add up to terabits quite fast...

Re:ya but.. (1)

thanatos_x (1086171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392627)

Seeing as how they can do this on standard fiber optics, this is about as economical as you can get. If all they need to change are the end points, there isn't an issue of re-laying fiber, which is a large portion of the costs involved. If the backbones get a boost in capacity by a factor of 10-100, in theory end line uses should see speed increases as well as it would become much harder to saturate these new backbones. I don't think this would help much for DSL users (because it uses a common broadcast channel), but for cable this should mean that they should be able to open up the taps on anyone with a cable connection. There is still a limit to the speed on cable, but 95% of cable users are well below this speed in the US, and anything that helps them get it is good. 20-25 Mbps? I'd take it.

No one cares about being able to get a terabit connection to your house; the only bus issue is the computers at either end of the fiber (which other users have addressed).

If we'll see any benefits from this technology... I'd like to have faith in economics that the benefit will get passed down to the consumer, but so far...

Don't forget businesses (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393169)

The economics of running an online service will also change. As bandwidth costs on the backbones are lowered, it will become more feasable for smaller companies to provide bigger data services. This means things like youtube could easily go high definition, setting up your own audio stream service might actually be really cheap, and personal online storage of gigabytes of data transfers could also be possible and cheap.

It will be interesting to see the progression of data technologies. Long ago we used floppies to store our documents. Just ten years ago we had decent sized hard drives and cdroms/dvds. Today we now use flash memory and portable hard disks. If backbone tech keeps increasing in capacity we'll eventually just forget physical mediums and throw everything onto a server somewhere and reconnect to the internet (probably from some wireless connection) to retrieve and store most of our data. Software distributions and installations could go totally disk-less (boot off the network somehow?) and you might just start streaming your music collection off of an internet storage server. Many different technologies are required to get there but as the barriers keep dropping it will quickly become a reality.

Re:ya but.. (2, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393419)

Where I live the last-mile technology is DSL which for my location maxes out at 1.5mbps.

So because it won't specifically affect your internet connection, it isn't news?

I think the "OMG LOOK HOW FAST TIS IS" kiddie-mentality of movies-per-second ignores the whole issue of last-mile distribution.

FTTH is last-mile distribution.

Re:ya but.. (1)

funkboy (71672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21394125)

> Youd think slashdot would have better things to post than PR releases.

Depends on one's definition of "you"...

Re:ya but.. (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21395577)

1.5M? My god. America needs a telecom overhaul. This came from Japan, land of 100M residential fiber connections.

Yeah, but in the U.S. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391567)

We'll barely be up to 100 Mbit when the rest of the world hits terabit. The media conglomerates that own the rights to provide internet service to your home will make sure of that.

Re:Yeah, but in the U.S. (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391687)

Yeah, so here in the UK, We'll be getting 24MB by then! London might be getting 50MB even...

Re:Yeah, but in the U.S. (1)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392113)

You're talking rubbish. ADSL+ was being sold to UK subscribers over two years ago. I don't see why anyone should be blamed for the fact that where you live isn't populated enough to be deemed profitable yet. ISPs are not charities.

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/77057/uk-online-joins-24mbps-adsl-rollout.html [pcpro.co.uk]

Re:Yeah, but in the U.S. (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392231)

Yes, you can get that, but only in Central London and Manchester. I wasn't blaming anyone, in fact, your little rant there was pointless. I was simply saying, the general UK might get faster speeds at such a time as everywhere else gets even faster speeds. I never said we should get it, I said we might, implying I'd want that.

Re:Yeah, but in the U.S. (1)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392355)

My point was, no, it's not just Central London and Manchester. Two years ago, yes - but not now. You're suggesting that the trials failed and LLU has ceased - or that ISPs have done absolutely nothing in that time?

I live in Kent and 24 Mbps is most definitely available - but I have 20 Mbps from Virgin.

Re:Yeah, but in the U.S. (2, Insightful)

lattyware (934246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392407)

Your 20mbps is from Virgin. Who do cable. In a lot of, nigh most, areas you cannot get cable, and most areas do not have lines that can handle high speed connections. My point was that most areas will not get those kind of speeds, that is true. I did not suggest it was ceased. I suggested that not everyone is going to get those speeds for quite some time.

Re:Yeah, but in the U.S. (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392515)

You stated "Yes, you can get that, but only in Central London and Manchester," which isn't remotely true.

Re:Yeah, but in the U.S. (1)

holysin (549880) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393141)

"which isn't remotely true." Define remotely?

I have to side with Latty. It's really not far off, if you're not in London/Manchester it's a potluck to get fast service I'm currently living in the 10th largest city in England (as of 2004 estimates) in a newly built (2002ish) building, pretty much on top of two different university campuses, within easy walking distance to the town centre, and what are my options? Adsl. Nothing else (outside of dialup). There is some cable in the city, but not much. It's not even an option, for my building, and they don't know when it will be an option. So, I get Max dsl, which in theory gives me up to 448k up / 8Meg down (my max is 6Mb down when my line is clean during the day). But only when the local BT network isn't overcrowded (after about 9pm weeknight and most of the time on weekends), at which rate I'm lucky to get 800Kb - 1Mb down. Tack on the fact that pretty much every ADSL provider in the UK limits the amount of data you can transfer (some rather dramatically), and I've ended up going with an Entanet reseller for a VAT included bill of 67 pounds a month (~$137). Why? Because for some reason the English people let BT off the hook on supplying FTTP. I'm sorry, but for a country that has such a population density, it's extremely sad how little broadband there really is for the average English person. In theory around 2011 or so if we're still in the UK, we might be able to get next level of DSL, but I'm not holding my breath. Good for you that you have 20meg down, if you have 20meg down and no usage limits, than really good for you. However, most of us are currently being screwed.

Re:Yeah, but in the U.S. (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391845)

The media companies (well, the motion picture companies) will do everything in their power to prevent it. All they have to do is have Congress or the FCC keep the telcos in power and we'll never see anything more than we have now. The very last thing they want is for it to be as quick to download movies as it currently is to download music.

Yeah, but in real time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392373)

"The very last thing they want is for it to be as quick to download movies as it currently is to download music."

From the standpoint of piracy I see their point. From the consumer standpoint getting ones movies faster really doesn't help. You still have to watch it in real time. So now you have a bigger pile of movies to go through and only so many hours in a day.

Re:Yeah, but in real time. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392719)

True ... but the media outfits aren't as rational about it as you are. I mean, they've already shown that they're more than willing to throw all of us into the fire as long as they get what they want. Besides, I don't believe that the bang I get for my ISP buck should be limited to what is acceptable to a bunch of self-serving corporate entities, most of whom aren't even U.S. companies anyway! Incredible.

But you're right though. As the economy continues to worsen and Americans are being forced to work harder and harder to hold on to what they have, there's less and less leisuretime available. That means less time to watch their movies, and given that we now have a lot more potential distractions (cable/satellite TV, cellphones, Internet, email, etc. etc.) the movie people are going to have to work a lot harder for a piece of our action.

I've had NetFlix for six months or so, and while it's a good service and reasonably priced ... I really don't use it as much as I thought I would. Which is fine by NetFlix: they don't care what you do so long as you pay your monthly fee. But I've had the last three discs out now for, what, a couple of weeks and have only watched on of them. I could send it back and get the next one in the queue, but why? I still have two more to go anyway. I don't even have cable TV, but still I manage to find things to do that don't involve sitting in front of a video screen. Huh. Maybe that's because I don't have cable TV.

I bet... (4, Funny)

ceeam (39911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391579)

...someone in MPAA just shat himself.

the vision (5, Interesting)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391749)

Actually, this opens up some interesting possibilities for people like the RIAA and MPAA. When you can download a whole CD or DVD in seconds, there's no longer much point to someone who's system is connected, in having physical media, or even a copy of the media, on their own machine. Whatever type of business model they'd wind up with could take that into account, and they could come up with a Netflix-type model, or something new and appropriate to the new reality (when have they ever done THAT, though?) - pay $x/mo, or $x/mo/bitrate/resolution, or whatever. The online rental business could be huge.

There's also the benefit of being able to do real-time offsite storage. The people who would care about needing massive amount of storage for their movie collection - no longer need to store their movies locally. Your whole machine could wind up being nothing more than an online access point with it being customized to be the HCI that you prefer: curvy keyboard (w/ or w/o lights) or not, big-ass widescreen display ... or not, your choice of colour, and a big honkin' net connection. Lots of RAM and a SSD boot drive, and something (magnetic card, keyfob, whatever, or nothing - just swipe your retina across a scanner or something) you can take with you to plug into whatever other machines you use to let that machine know it's you and to configure to your preferences. And nothing more. No moving parts other than the keyswitches and GP/CPU fan.

This is the kind of technology advancement that can change almost everything in its field if enough people with vision can take advantage of it and work together to make it seamless.

Re:the vision (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21391897)

Once you have everyone storing Gigs of data elsewhere then you've exponentially increased your bandwidth usage and you are back to having an effective download rate in the Mbps as opposed to Tbps.

Re:the vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392033)

You forget latency. Ever tried to run SMB/CIFS or NFS over a WAN line? Performance totally sucks, even if you have lots of bandwidth. This isn't going to replace local storage except for specialized cases.

the monovision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392081)

"Actually, this opens up some interesting possibilities for people like the RIAA and MPAA. When you can download a whole CD or DVD in seconds, there's no longer much point to someone who's system is connected, in having physical media, or even a copy of the media, on their own machine."

I see that slashdot needs a constant reminder that a lot of people can't even get a decent dial up connection let alone broadband. The threat to their business model isn't more people getting this tech but the preexisting base abusing it even more.

"Whatever type of business model they'd wind up with could take that into account, and they could come up with a Netflix-type model, or something new and appropriate to the new reality (when have they ever done THAT, though?) - pay $x/mo, or $x/mo/bitrate/resolution, or whatever. The online rental business could be huge."

The piracy problem isn't a distribution problem, or a storage problem. It's getting people conditioned into believing if it's on the internet it must be free to start paying. Technology isn't going to fix that social problem.

"There's also the benefit of being able to do real-time offsite storage. The people who would care about needing massive amount of storage for their movie collection - no longer need to store their movies locally."

That's a funny position for paranoid slashdot to take.

"This is the kind of technology advancement that can change almost everything in its field if enough people with vision can take advantage of it and work together to make it seamless."

The development is overseas but the US is the country that's going to cough up the capital to make it commercial.

Re:the vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21393013)

the vision says: "there's no longer much point to someone who's system is connected, in having physical media,..."

that is a sad state of affairs. perhaps next week a documentary about political prisoners will be edited to exclude someone who has "dissapeared." Perhaps a news article will be "updated" to clarify that Joe freedom fighter, disillusioned with his government's misuse of taxes, attacked a day care center. This will be in contrast to the previous article that states that Joe freedom fighter, angry that his tax money went to murdering entire towns of people who had the misfortune of being in another country, attacked the nearest federal facility he could find.... which happened to include a day care center. There's a serious difference in motive there.

Either way, I think it's VERY important to have a lot of local storage space in which to document all changes in information.

Re:the vision (1)

sxeraverx (962068) | more than 6 years ago | (#21395459)

You really don't want to be swiping your retina across anything. Ever. It would hurt. You'd go blind. And you wouldn't even get any useful information out of it. It's the pattern of nerves behind your retina that a retinal scanner scans, AFAIR.

Re:I bet... (2, Insightful)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391757)

Not really. My cable TV provider (that is not a MPAA member, but certainly buy a lot of content from them) would love such technology in order to serve digital Video on Demand faster, less compressed and to more people at the same time. As other people observed, such a fiber would be next to useless to current home user technology (other components would become the bottleneck), but to content provider, it would be miraculous.

Not in my lifetime (1)

begbiezen (1081757) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391623)

not in this country (us), would be nice though.

pirst fost (not really) (1, Insightful)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391625)

duh, what will it be used for? pr0n.

Re:pirst fost (not really) (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391767)

Web-apps, terminals... Universal streaming of TV, radio, phone, etc signals over IP. You're like an IBM rep in the 50s about 5 computers being top for the world.

Re:pirst fost (not really) (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392827)

No he's not. He's being perfectly realistic. Porno consumes a significant chunk of global bandwidth today, and that will only increase as transfer speeds increase. What it will mean is that now I can get my skin flicks streamed in widescreen hi-def, rather than a small 5x6" window on my desktop.

I don't have a problem with that.

Finally (2, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391627)

I can have my own copy of the Library o' Congress and let them worry about backup :)

Nice, but what for? (-1)

zolf13 (941799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391635)

Do we need terabit connections (TCP or whatever)? I will be happy if I can get 50 Mbps as it should be enough for any HDTV streaming.
Unless you are running particle collider and you need to ofshore all your measurement data to distant grid network. But they are usually very boring to watch :)

Academic work (3, Informative)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391751)

multi-terabit connections are an absolutely wonderful thing to have in some academic research fields. Science research, computing research can all benefit. For some dude downloading movies and music? A 100mbit would be absolutely wonderful and gigabit would be more than enough.

Re:Academic work (3, Insightful)

porpnorber (851345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392379)

You go over the 1G mark just by doing uncompressed HDTV, and uncompressed is good; for teleconferencing applications, codec latency is the killer, since your brain is hardwired with estimates of other people's response times. Now, you may think that HDTV is good quality, but if the future offers me 64Mpixel HDR images in stereo (or better, with full depth representation) at 100fps, I for one am not going to complain. Multiply it out; that's approaching the terabit per second, and I didn't even have to choose any outrageous numbers—2*8k*8k*3*16*100 is pretty conservative for a convincing virtual French window. Contemporary video, even HDTV, is not enough like being there, as you come to realise once you've had a chance to play with high-end systems (my stuff: http://ultravideo.mcgill.ca/activities.html [mcgill.ca] ; my friends': http://www.hp.com/halo [hp.com] ; both a few years old by now).

So, yeah, what you really want the terabit network to your home for—is chatting with your mum.

I wish I could show you even current research teleconferencing systems in operation... and they suck compared to what I'd like to be doing.

(I'm not, by the way, suggesting that there are no useful low-latency techniques providing moderate compression for when you don't have gigabandwidth—of course there are. I'm just pointing out that these numbers are not unimaginable, and that if the pipe were provided, there would indeed be end-user applications for it.)

Re:Academic work (0, Redundant)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392459)

Having 1Gb (I have access to at uni) is great if only I wasn't using an IDE hardrive and a 100Mb ethernet card... on another note, what will happen to the /. effect if this does happen?

Re:Academic work (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392785)

is it now someone drags in the 640k quote?

Re:Academic work (1)

ian_from_brisbane (596121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393199)

hahaha, I hope you remember you said that once movies move to 25,600 x 16,000 @ 100 fps

Re:Nice, but what for? (5, Insightful)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391759)

Please let's not start that debate again. I know it started a long time ago with "no one needs an abacus, who's going to count over ten?" but please no more debating on what's sufficient and what's not as far as computing, etc. It comes up everytime there is talk of major increases in x aspect of computing. We don't need anymore of it.

Abac'ed it to a clean eleven.. (1)

newr00tic (471568) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392093)

Please let's not start that debate again. I know it started a long time ago with "no one needs an abacus, who's going to count over ten?"
Yep, the good old Abacus knew better, and cranked it to 11!

Re:Nice, but what for? (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21395187)

Yeah, it's compensation. When you have something new, someone'll find a use for it.

Re:Nice, but what for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21391861)

Do we need terabit connections (TCP or whatever)?

I don't know, do we? Listening to the telcos and cablecos complain about how they have to throttle everyone down to a small percentage of the advertised speed in order to make sure there's enough bandwidth for their precious, precious video and voice services, the answer seems to be yes.

Too bad they'll have nothing to do with this technology. It's far more profitable to hold everyone hostage than to shell out the billions in capital to upgrade the network.

will need bigger hard disks (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391697)

every time connection speeds have increased (300 Baud, 1200, 56k, .... 20Mbps) you've needed more disk space to store the cr... you download. At Tbit speeds, where will you put all this?

Similarly, once you spent a few seconds downloading everything off the internet, what will you do next?

(3 seconds to download it, 25 years to read it all)

Re:will need bigger hard disks (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391769)

maybe this will make the Network Computer dream a reality? Imagine that you have an internet connection that's faster than any drive array you can make. Then add Web 3.0 apps to it. No more formatting, upgrading, antivirus, whatever. Maybe for us geeks that would be too much, but for Common People, that would be practical. Pay-per-use computing. It would be a service just like cable TV.

Re:will need bigger hard disks (1)

scottrocket (1065416) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392397)

"once you spent a few seconds downloading everything off the internet, what will you do next?"

Make more stuff.

Re:will need bigger hard disks (1)

Kegetys (659066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392401)

> At Tbit speeds, where will you put all this?

in /dev/null

in their hundreds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21391699)

I simply wan to know what "In their hundreds" means.

At that speed, full movies could be downloaded almost instantaneously in their hundreds.

Re:in their hundreds? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392289)

I simply wan to know what "In their hundreds" means.
It's a phrase from the the poem "A Shropshire Lad", about young men dying in needless wars "in their hundreds".

The Slashdot editors used the phrase because they hate America and want George Bush to fail.

LANs (2, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391713)

This won't be as useful for Internet use (as mentioned above, the last link will continue to suck), but for businesses and other LANs with high demand (data centers, anyone?), this will be a big help.

Re:LANs (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21394179)

I didn't RTFA yet (it IS open in a tab though), but the title of the article would imply that we ARE talking about the last link. I'm pretty sure FTTH means 'Fiber To The Home'.

Aren't routers the bottleneck (2, Informative)

iampiti (1059688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391727)

I'm not sure if this is the case still, but a networks teacher of mine told me some years ago that the bottleneck of the internet were the routers.

Re:Aren't routers the bottleneck (1)

porpnorber (851345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392085)

So you need 8 Mbit or so superjumbograms. In principle, not a problem, though some header fields need to be widened. The issue becomes one of memory bandwidth, instead: that's a fearsome hose, by today's standards.

Re:Aren't routers the bottleneck (1)

funkboy (71672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21394387)

Actually, in the US the bottleneck is carrier monopolies and their influence on politicians (more at the local level than anywhere else).

Gosh, terabites of pr0n per second? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21391729)

Truly, madly need this.

Hasn't the cable company been doing this for years (2, Interesting)

NuttyBee (90438) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391731)

I get something like 70 NTSC channels and everything above oh 400 Mhz on my cable system is QAM 256. I believe the cable company trucks the signal over fiber (QAM and all) to a local node where it is converted to RF and split into the house..

How is this new or different?

Botnet, anyone? (3, Funny)

Myria (562655) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391773)

Just wait until someone with one of these gets Trojaned and the controller starts DoS-extorting Google.

Re:Botnet, anyone? (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21394261)

Just wait until someone with one of these gets Trojaned and the controller starts DoS-extorting Google.
Yeah, that's the first thing I thought of too, well not Google, but close. Something like the combination of this story and http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/07/122200 [slashdot.org]

Heh... Storm, SkyNet, what's the difference? :-D

Oh, and since I'm posting, and I haven't seen it yet, I might as well ask if anyone has thought of a beowulf cluster implementing these things?

Re:Hasn't the cable company been doing this for ye (2, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391787)

The story is about doing it over fiber optics -- using an optical signal instead of an electrical one.

It seems like something that might be useful 20 years from now.

Re:Hasn't the cable company been doing this for ye (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21395625)

No, it's not the same because the cable company isn't don't QAM over Fiber, they're doing over... wait for it... CABLE. They may be moving the data around over fiber before it gets to your house, but that fiber optic connection is the fiber equivalent (in terms of modulation techniques) of the old 1 megabit co-ax. In fact, QAM is what allows that crappy co-ax connection that the cable company STILL uses to push video and internet up into the 10 - 20 megabit range.

Apply that same tech to fiber, guess what? those 10 gigabit single-fiber connections suddenly reach terabit range.

Copper technology is nearly maxed out. If it ever hits the 100 megabit range like has been promised by some researchers, it WILL be maxed out. Fiber optics are still in the toddler stage of their developement, and if they can get QAM to work it'd be like jumping into the teenage stage.

You know, wild and rebellious. ;)

Drop a hundred bucks on a telecom manual if you really want to know what's going on with all this stuff. As a bonus it's excellent if you're having trouble sleeping. 10 minutes and you'll be out like a light.

Cheers!

The data has to go somewhere... (2, Insightful)

normalperson (552607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391783)

We need faster hard drives to catch up

Re:The data has to go somewhere... (2)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392473)

Its the year of Solid State Disk on the desktop.

Or lots of cheap disks with a big backbone (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393253)

Or lots of really cheap disks. There's already RAID which takes multiple disks and combines them to improve performance and redundancy. There's also ZFS which does the same thing but in software, and it makes managing large sets of disks simpler. At a larger scale you can start exploiting P2P methods where every peer contributes a small amount but when you put together the pieces it adds up big time.

QAM (2, Insightful)

b1ffster (628989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391859)

Quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) is frequency based. It's 4 way (hence the 'quadrature thing) They're been doing way more than QAM in the last decade, they're doing 64-way amplitude modulation, with frequency spectrums (cable) for ages How the fuck are they using multi-frequency modulation techniques on light rays (fibre) ? This is either crap, very good or deserves a Nobel prize! Is this an early April 1st ??

Re:QAM (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392513)

How the fuck are they using multi-frequency modulation techniques on light rays (fibre) ? This is either crap, very good or deserves a Nobel prize! Is this an early April 1st ??
Light is just another medium for transmitting a signal, why should it be any different? The only reason I can think of why they might not have done this earlier is that it's hard to do elaborate signal processing at the speeds they want to use.

Re:QAM (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392675)

Quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) is frequency based. It's 4 way (hence the 'quadrature thing)

No, the quadrature thing refers to the two carriers being 1/4 of a wavelength out of phase. You can have any number of different symbols and it is still QAM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadrature_amplitude_modulation [wikipedia.org] .

I'm not quite sure what the break though here is, and TFA isn't that clear, but I Wouldn't write it off.

Re:QAM (2, Interesting)

Wierdy1024 (902573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392977)

I call foul, While technically possible to get the 1/4 phase difference to do QAM from very stable lasers, with two optical paths very slightly different lengths, and amplitude modulation of both, transmission of such a signal over long distances is going to be impossible. QAM suffers very badly from multipath, where different parts of the signal travel different distances. In the case of light, if the route the light takes varies more than ~100nm, the signal will be unrecoverable. Also, the laser must be fully stable and coherant for the full length of a transmission frame, and the optical path length must not change by more than ~100nm during the frame transmit time. In addioion, I don't think there is currently a way to modulate light that fast. Normally it would be done by modulating the current to the laser diode, but that can't work if seperate modulation of two phases is required. Theoretically, if this sort of thing was possible, my quick calculations indicate that making an assumption of 1 bit/Hz, and using approximately the entire visible spectrum, data rates of would be about ~300Tbits/sec. It's worth noting that due to the way current optical fibres are made, different frequencys travel at different speeds through the fiber, so QAM would never work using this much bandwidth. Instead, something like OFDM would be required on top of a lot of QAM channels. I don't know much about radio and modulation, so if an expert wants to correct me, I'd be pleased to learn more from them...

Re:QAM (how to fail physics 101) (4, Informative)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393239)

They're been doing way more than QAM in the last decade, they're doing 64-way amplitude modulation, with frequency spectrums (cable) for ages How the fuck are they using multi-frequency modulation techniques on light rays (fibre) ?

Are you aware that "radio waves" and "light rays" are fundamentally the same thing [wikipedia.org] ?

<Massive generalization> anything we have worked out how to do "with radio" is something that there is no fundamentally intrinsic reason why we should not (one day) be able to work out how to do "with light"</Massive Generalization> (and don't bother saying things like passing 'radio" through a sheet of cardboard which obviously blocks "light" - I'm talking about *uses* ie modulation/signalling techniques, not "modifying the laws of physics" issues)

Or do you think that a 1kHz audio wave is in some *magic* way fundamentally and intrinsically different from a 5kHz audio wave? or a 25kHz wave?

Re:QAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21393555)

Pah! Hundreds of Terabits / s. Wait until this http://www.vmsk.org/ [vmsk.org] gets going! (laws of physics notwithstanding)

Re:QAM (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21395575)

How the fuck are they using multi-frequency modulation techniques on light rays (fibre) ?

The frequency of light is of the order of 100000 THz. So the frequencies they are interested in are much smaller and usually limited by dimensions of modulating devices and limits of electronics they use.

A simple setup could be this: a frequency stabilized laser serving as local oscillator followed by two electro-optic crystals offset by a distance that corresponds to needed phase delay. If your electronics and crystals can do 2 GHz modulation this setup would allow to achive 4 GHz with 3.75cm offset between crystals - provided the clock that feeds the electronics is stable enough.

The state of the art in optics is pretty much what electronics used to be in the first part of 20th century - bulky discrete components mounted on large "breadboard" tables. 1 Terahertz corresponds to 0.3mm wavelength, and 10 Thz is 30um - so the researchers had to overcome some significant engineering difficulties.

Whoa (3, Funny)

NIckGorton (974753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391873)

If its "Terabit-Per-Second Class Connection" I wonder what a first class connection gets you.

Re:Whoa (0)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392867)

If its "Terabit-Per-Second Class Connection" I wonder what a first class connection gets you.
It'll get you champagne and steak all the way to Brazil.
(I know there's a brazillion joke in there somewhere)

Re:Whoa (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393521)

If its "Terabit-Per-Second Class Connection" I wonder what a first class connection gets you.

A premium email account with Yahoo! with an extra 2GB storage, free anti-virus, and a Flickr account? I'd bet Premium(TM) First Class Connection subscribers get a fixed IP address.

Just You Wait (2, Funny)

riffzifnab (449869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21391879)

Just watch, first person to get one of these connections will be the head researcher's mother. [slashdot.org]

WTF is FTTH?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392037)

Any a half decent publication would explain any cryptic acronyms used... god I hate bloggers etc wannabe journalists.

Re:WTF is FTTH?? (1)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392117)

And any half brained AC would spend three seconds using google if s/he didn't already know. FTTH = Fiber to the home

http://www.google.com/search?q=ftth [google.com]

Re:WTF is FTTH?? (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392273)

Fiber To The Home [wikipedia.org] , it's actually an old acronym, as is FTTC (Fiber To The Curb). Now they use Fiber To The Premises (FTTP) and Fiber To The Neighborhood (FTTN)

Any self respecting geek would know that :)

In the US It's a pipe dream for anyone not currently a Verizon customer. As much as I dislike Verizon for doing crap like crippling their cell phones, at least they modernize their networks. I unfortunately am in a Qwest zone, so I will see it either when Verizon buys Qwest or when hell begins its second ice age (so never or never and a day).

FTTH=fiber to the home (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392327)

The article linked doesn't mention fiber to the home at all, it seems it was a bit of embellishment on the part of the slashdot story poster.

The article doesn't say whether the new advancement was for singlemode or multimode fiber (or both), but given that singlemode fiber has maybe a thousand times the data capacity at distances of 100km that multimode has at distances of 2km, I suspect they are using singlemode.

I'm not certain, but I also suspect that most FTTH installations are multimode (it's easier to work with, and the equipment at either end is cheaper); if so, this new technology really doesn't apply to FTTH.

Re:FTTH=fiber to the home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21394791)

Actually...in the author's native country FTTH, which is part of the local lexicon and a serious minded goal of the Japanese gov't (serious=100% planned coverage in the next few years), installations are all singlemode fiber of which there are currently around 30 million installations. I write this from my home/office in Japan where I have 2 such fibers with service at 1Gbit/s each. The cost is around 3300yen (~$30) for each fiber per month) and I have to pay for ISP service for another 1000-1500 yen per fiber per month.

singlemode or multimode? (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 6 years ago | (#21395399)

I have Verizon's fiber optic service, which according to wikipedia is single-mode as well, so maybe I'm wrong and most FTTH installs are single mode. That would be a very good thing - no one's going to need to dig up that fiber for at least thirty or forty years (and maybe hundreds), assuming there aren't silly bottlenecks somewhere in the system.

Throughput is only part of the experience (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392127)

If you step over the top sekrit 10TB monthly limit the provider will cut you off and send over the company dog to scoot its anus across your new carpet.

TB/s on one line implies gate tech we haven't got. (1)

markk (35828) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392213)

To get a TB/s - 10 Terabits/s (1/10th or less of what they claim) implies you have gates that operate at better than 0.1 pico-second reflex times (that is, off-on-off). I am only talking the receive buffer. I can see what you could do with all the new cores now - make them into a parallel IO where each takes a time slice of a microsecond or so, that is, a megabyte of data, oh wait, we can't do cache writes that fast currently. Looking at the article and tech I see a bunch of lambda's and a lot of parallelism and nowhere near the speeds given for a long time, and totally different IO channel tech. On the other hand, I can see types of this tech being used at lower speeds all over. The high speed they give is really a red herring.

These stories make me cry! (1)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392279)

When I see my adsl is actually 1.5MegaBit p/s down, 0.256 mbps up for 38$ per month...
Sad day for me. :(

Disturbance (2, Funny)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392521)

At that speed, full movies could be downloaded almost instantaneously in their hundreds.
At Slashdot, readers sensed a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of movie studio and record company executives cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Showing my age (1)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392541)

an article at Tech.co.uk wonders if someday the megabit and gigabit classes of net connections will join kilobits in the 'antique tech' bin.

I can remember when kilobit/sec connections were something to look forward to. I traveled three years (early '80s) with an acoustic coupler that could often communicate back to the office only at 300 baud (and periodically error out at that speed). Usually, I wanted to use 3270 emulation over the connection. This is like watching paint dry only more boring. It did have occasional redeeming value, however. Watching the emulated 3270 data stream slowly displaying itself on the screen was a great way to visualize where data streams were miscoded!

Useless cheerleading articles (2, Informative)

dsgrntlxmply (610492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392749)

Neither this article, nor anything linked from it and accessible without subscription, describes the result in any useful detail.

What is routinely done today in hybrid fiber/coaxial cable (HFC) cable TV systems, is to use linear RF-band, often 50-750MHz in 6MHz (North American standard) bands corresponding to television channels. Both 64- (6 bits/baud) and 256- (8 bits/baud) QAM modulation standards are used. 64-QAM has been around since maybe 1996.

256-QAM requires a better signal/noise ratio through the transmission path, and better A/D resolution and more demodulation work in the receiver. 256-QAM gives around 38.8Mb/s payload rate after subtracting TV standard (ITU J.83B) ECC and packet overheads. 256-QAM is seeing increasing use as better chip technology makes the demodulators cheap, as cable plant is upgraded to push fiber farther out toward the end subscribers with better signal quality.

700MHz / 6MHz = 116 TV channels * 38.8Mb/s = roughly 4.5Gb/s digital capacity for QAM on a 700MHz RF bandwidth. Again, this is done routinely today, except of course a TV receiver only selects and demodulates a single 6MHz channel at a time.

One could WDM a number of 700MHz RF ensembles onto a fiber, but this of course requires source lasers (ones designed for wideband linear modulation, or with $$$ external modulators) with precisely tuned and stabilized wavelengths, and corresponding optical splitter/filters, individual optical receivers for each wavelength, and RF-band demodulators for however many channels the RF band has been divided into.

Terabit through this conceptually straightforward WDM approach would require over 200 such optical carriers (a couple of racks of very expensive equipment. It's feasible, but not something you will have on the side of your house (even receive-only) in the near future.

Re:Useless cheerleading articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21395641)

Neither this article, nor anything linked from it and accessible without subscription, describes the result in any useful detail.

That's OK. It gives me something to do while waiting for Qwest to install my "1.5 / 768" DSL line. I placed the in mid-October, and I'm still not connected. (Thank you, random guy with open but very flaky wifi.) And this is in the downtown of a medium-large American city.

I'll be moving to Japan next week...

Terabit through this conceptually straightforward WDM approach would require over 200 such optical carriers (a couple of racks of very expensive equipment. It's feasible, but not something you will have on the side of your house (even receive-only) in the near future.

I live in America, you insensitive clod. We're lucky to have *any* internet access in our houses at all.

vaporware (1)

hcgpragt (968424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392851)

Sorry but as long as I cannot access the actual article I have to assume is fake.
This is science: convince the world!
So putting your actual paper behind some login is a no-no.

Some relevant references (2, Informative)

Tom Womack (8005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393809)

It looks as if

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4348615&isnumber=4348298 [ieee.org]

is something like the work being reported on; 'A 1 Gsymbol/s, 64 QAM coherent signal was successfully transmitted over 150 km using heterodyne detection with a frequency-stabilized fiber laser and an optical phase-locked-loop technique. The spectral efficiency reached as high as 3 bit/s/Hz.'

Masato YOSHIDA's list of papers at

http://db.tohoku.ac.jp/whois/Tunv_Title_All.php?&user_num=LTU0OA==&sel1=1&sel2=1&sel3=1&sel4=2&page=1&lang=E [tohoku.ac.jp]

looks very plausible in the context of this work; 'coherent optical transmission' is I think the relevant buzz-word. Going from 1Gsymbol/s to 10Tsymbol/s is clearly a lot more work, but being able to do optical QAM at all is pretty spectacular.

Re:Some relevant references (1)

dsgrntlxmply (610492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21394405)

Additional searching unearthed the following:

http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/elex/4/3/77/_pdf [jst.go.jp]

This is not exactly the work referenced in the original article, but it is very likely related to it. Anything that requires a cell of isotopically weird (carbon 13) acetylene sounds fun to me.

The crucial element appears to be a highly stabilized laser that is used in the receiver as a local oscillator to recover (by optical heterodyne detection) a UHF RF carrier that carries the actual QAM.

I had read speculative/theoretical statements about optical heterodyne detection years ago (probably around '94). It might've taken this long to get a stable (and monochromatic) enough local oscillator to demonstrate it in a potentially useful state.

It'll take a while (1)

Casandro (751346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21395849)

Of course those bitrates are theoretically possible with optical fibers. After all you could apply the advanced modulation schemes of DSL to them, theoretically.
Actually right now for short distances the dispersion might be small enought to actually do QAM, but I don't believe it's feasible on longer lines.

Of course once we get ways to use lightways in the same way as radio waves it all would be simple, but right now, even the best lasers still actually produce band-limited noise with a bandwidth of a few hundred megahertz. A detector can only take a chunk of the spektrum and just give you the intensity of the signal. Comparing this to radio, we still are in the 1920s, perhaps earlier.
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