from August 15, 2002, News-Sentinel

original URL:
http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/business/article/0,1406,KNS_376_1326391,00.html

High-speed computer link debuts at ORNL

Gone With the Wind' transmits in 6 seconds

By the Associated Press

August 15, 2002

OAK RIDGE - A new high-speed computer link will be able to send the 3 1/2-hour movie "Gone With the Wind" from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to Atlanta in less than six seconds, officials said Wednesday.

The fiber-optic network, stretching from the lab through Chattanooga to Georgia Tech, will link the national lab's Cheetah supercomputer to the Southern Crossroads consortium of 44 universities at a speed some 200,000 times faster than the fastest home computer dial-up connection.

Ray Orbach, director of the Energy Department's Office of Science, symbolically completed the connection during a ceremony at the lab Wednesday.

The link will connect DOE's ESnet computer network with Internet2, the network of top-tier universities, at speeds up to 20 times faster than the lab's previous connection.

With the new link, an 8.5 gigabyte data file the size of "Gone With the Wind" could be transmitted in a few blinks of an eye.

"This new high-speed network strengthens the partnership between DOE and the academic community, which is critical to our plans to reassert U.S. leadership in computational sciences," said Thomas Zacharia, associate lab director for computing and computational sciences.

The network of fiber-optic cables, which runs from Oak Ridge through Chattanooga to Georgia Tech in Atlanta, should benefit the region.

"Over the past several years ORNL, Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the core universities - Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Duke, North Carolina State, University of Tennessee and Florida State - have worked together in order to foster inter-institutional, multidisciplinary research," said Charles L. Liotta, vice president for research at Georgia Tech.

"The new high-speed network will allow this partnership to evolve to a new level of research-education collaboration. I predict that an important outcome will be enhanced economic development for this region of the nation," he said.

Southern Crossroads members include the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Emory, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida State and Georgia Tech, the site of the 10 gigabit (10 billion bits per second) connection.

The high-speed link is provided by Qwest Communications International, which also supplies the backbone for ESnet and Internet2.

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