December 22, 2005 Paris -- Alcatel last week announced the successful deployment of its 40-Gbit/sec solution connecting supercomputers at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Karlsruhe in Germany, a distance of over 105 km. According to Alcatel representatives, this is the fastest data line in Germany and ranks among the top five in the world. The project delivers a computing power of over twenty TeraFlops, equivalent to more than twenty trillion operations per second, for business and educational applications.
The deployment is part of the "Baden-Württemberg Extended LAN" scientific network (BelWü), which is funded by the Baden-Württemberg state and is integrated in the European research association GÉANT. The whole network connects nine universities, 25 technical colleges, eight cooperative academies, and other scientific institutions in southwestern Germany.
The new 40-Gbit/sec link enables the two supercomputers to bind computing and data resources across the network into a unified environment for commercial and educational applications where fast networking rates and high computing horsepower are key. For business users, this means performing detailed 3D simulations in real time such as car-crash tests and process simulations. For research institutes and students, this groundbreaking speed per channel enables new ways of sharing and processing huge amounts of information for advanced and complex research programs.
The Alcatel 40-Gbit/sec solution, available within its WDM systems, including the Alcatel 1626 Light Manager (LM), enables customers to move huge amounts of data between supercomputer clusters in the most efficient way, say company representatives. For this project, Alcatel interconnected multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces of the two university supercomputers through a single WDM link exhibiting remarkable low latency and high transparency. Four bidirectional 10-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces are aggregated onto one 40-Gbit/sec wavelength that is transported over an optical fiber without repeaters. The new line is designed to support multiple 40-Gbit/sec wavelengths to cope with future traffic growth.
"Our users must benefit from easily accessible, highly reliable computing capabilities and this project represents an enormous boost for the Baden-Württemberg area as a technology center," explains Wolfgang Peters of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden Württemberg. "Alcatel's solution guarantees that the BelWü network is in a leading position in Europe and worldwide to successfully carry out international grid computing projects."
"Alcatel's technology is at the forefront of innovation and this project positions us among the first research networks able to achieve 40-Gbit/sec data rates over such distances in a real operational environment," adds Prof. Horst Hippler, Rector of the University of Karlsruhe. "The deployment has been achieved in a smooth way enabling our existing supercomputer to continue its operation without disruptions."