A handful of research bodies around the world published record network speed results last month, showing a huge boost in the flow of data across both WANs and between local systems linked closely together. Scientists at California Institute of Technology, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and the Los Alamos National Laboratory sent 1TB of data from Sunnyvale, Calif., to Geneva, Switzerland at a sustained rate of 2.38Gpbs for more than one hour. This speed is equivalent to the data rate needed to send 200 full-length DVD movies in one hour or one movie in 18 seconds.

3Com powers up

3Com Corp. last month announced a switch that provides electrical power over Ethernet wiring and interoperates with new IP telephones and wireless LAN access devices, freeing users of those products from the need to have separate power cables. Networking devices that support Power Over Ethernet technology began appearing two years ago and are already being offered by 3Com, Cisco Systems Inc. and other vendors. But all the new 3Com products adhere to a draft interoperability standard called IEEE 802.3af, said Doug Hyde, a product manager at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor. 3Com said its 24-port Power Over Ethernet switch, called the SuperStack 3 Switch 4400 PWR, forwards electrical power at low wattages to connected devices.

Giddy over gigabit

Expanding its line of networking products, Intel Corp. in March announced a series of Ethernet devices, including a gigabit Ethernet controller for PCs and a 10 gigabit Ethernet network interface card for servers. The network interface card costs US$7,995 and is designed to connect LAN-based servers to corporate networks so they can run bandwidth-hungry applications such as imaging and data mirroring, said Tim Dunn, general manager of Intel’s platform networking group. The controller, called the PRO/1000 CT Desktop Connection, takes Ethernet connections off the 32-bit Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus inside PCs, Dunn said. Samples of the gigabit Ethernet controller are being shipped to PC makers for inclusion in systems that should be released before June, Intel said.

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