Researchers have successfully transmitted 186 gigabits of data per second (GBps), accomplishing a new world record and helping usher in the next generation of high-speed network technology.
The rate is equivalent to moving two million gigabytes per day, fast enough to transfer nearly 100,000 full Blu-ray discs - each with a complete movie and all the extras - in a day.
The international team of scientists at the SuperComputing 2011 (SC11), Seattle, accomplished the feat mid-November, transferring data in opposite directions at a combined rate of 186 GBps in a wide-area network circuit, according to a California Institute of Technology (Caltech) statement.
The team of high-energy physicists, computer scientists and network engineers was led by Caltech, the University of Victoria, University of Michigan, European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), Florida International University and other partners.
According to the researchers, the achievement will help establish new ways to transport the increasingly large quantities of data that traverse continents and oceans via global networks of optical fibers.
These new methods are needed for the next generation of network technology - which allows transfer rates of 40 and 100 GBps - that will be built in the next couple of years.
"Our group and its partners are showing how massive amounts of data will be handled and transported in the future," says Harvey Newman, professor of physics and head of the high-energy physics team.
"Having these tools in our hands allows us to engage in realisable visions others do not have. We can see a clear path to a future others cannot yet imagine with any confidence," he adds.