Next-gen net (Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Grid) speed - 1800 mbps - Superfast internet may replace world wide web

Tuesday, April 8, 2008 |
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Superfast internetThe Large Hadron Collider (LHC), currently being built at CERN near Geneva, is the largest scientific instrument on the planet. When it begins operations in 2007, it will produce roughly 15 Petabytes (15 million Gigabytes) of data annually, which thousands of scientists around the world will access and analyse.

The mission of the LHC Computing Project (LCG) is to build and maintain a data storage and analysis infrastructure for the entire high energy physics community that will use the LHC.

The internet could soon be made obsolete by a new "grid" system which is 10,000 times faster than broadband connections.

The first phase of an ambitious computing network designed to handle huge amounts of data has been launched.

The network, dubbed the Grid, has been set up by the Cern labs in Geneva to tap into the processing power of computers in 12 countries.

The aim of the project is to handle data from an experiment on how the Universe began.

Cern believes the Grid could eventually provide people access to a vast pool of processing power from their desktops.

Next-gen net

The idea behind Grid technology is to link up computers around the world over the internet to create a new generation of enormously powerful machines.

The networks are needed because some problems in science are just too large for any one machine to tackle by itself.

Cern's Grid will initially be used to handle the terabytes of data generated by an upcoming particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).


The technology now being deployed for particle physics will ultimately change the way that science and business are undertaken in the years to come


Ian Halliday, PParc

The LHC is going to test the Big Bang theory by smashing protons together at high energies.

The data generate by the experiment are expected to fill the equivalent of more than 20 million CDs a year and some 70,000 computers would be needed to analyse the data.

With the LHC Computing Grid project, scientists will be able to access computing resources across the world as though they were on their machine.

"The Grid enables us to harness the power of scientific computing centres wherever they may be to provide the most powerful computing resource the world has to offer," said Les Robertson, project manager at Cern.

'Profound effect'

The first phase covers processing resources from research institutes in 12 countries - the UK, the US, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, and Taiwan.

The final goal of the Grid is to bring together the computing power of scientific centres across the world to create a virtual supercomputer network.

In the long-term, Grid technology is predicted to revolutionise the world of computing. Ultimately it is expected to be able to provide huge processing power on tap to anyone.

"The technology now being deployed for particle physics will ultimately change the way that science and business are undertaken in the years to come," said Ian Halliday, Chief Executive of the UK's Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, (PParc).

"This will have a profound effect on the way society uses information technology, much as the worldwide web did."

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is being built in a circular tunnel 27 km in circumference. The tunnel is buried around 50 to 175 m. underground. It straddles the Swiss and French borders on the outskirts of Geneva.

It planned to circulate the first beams in May 2008. First collisions at high energy are expected mid-2008 with the first results from the experiments soon after.

Large Hadron Collider: The Discovery Machine



A global collaboration of scientists is preparing to start up the greatest particle physics experiment in history

Click the photos to Enlarge


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