Show Sidebar Log in

The future of the internet – at the speed light

fancy image of brain as circuit diagramNew research has found a scientific solution that enables future internet infrastructure to become completely open and programmable while carrying internet traffic at the speed of light, the University of Bristol writes.

This research by High Performance Networks (HPN) group of Bristol University’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering has been published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A and bears the title: Optical network democratization by Reza Nejabati, Shuping Peng and Dimitra Simeonidou.

The current infrastructure of the internet is incapable of supporting independent development and innovation at physical and network layer functionalities, protocols and services, whilst simultaneously supporting increasing bandwidth from increasingly diverse applications.

This research addresses this problem with a new high performance network infrastructure that is open and programmable and uses light to carry internet traffic (is it like Ronja? Ed.) It introduces new concepts of an open source optical internet enabled by optical white box and software-defined network technologies.

Dr Reza Nejabati, Reader in Optical Networks in the HPN group, said: “Hardware and software technologies reported in this paper can potentially revolutionise optical network infrastructure the same way that Google Android and Apple iOS did for mobile phones. These technologies will hide complexity of optical networks and open them up for traditional programmers and application developers to create new type of internet applications taking advantages of speed of light.”

Dimitra Simeonidou, Professor of High Performance Networks and HPN group leader, added: “New internet technologies frequently emerge, but most of them rarely result in new and revolutionary internet applications. The technologies suggested could pave the way for the creation of new internet services and applications not previously possible or disruptive. The technologies could also potentially change the balance of power from vendors and operators that are monopolising the current internet infrastructure to wider users and service providers.”

The High Performance Networks (HPN) group is the forefront of world research and development in the fields of:

  • Next generation optical transmission networks;
  • Optical packet and burst switching;
  • Optical data centre solutions and architecture;
  • Grid and cloud networking;
  • Software-defined networking (SDN) and optical network virtualisation;
  • Hybrid-network domains orchestration and service management;
  • Smart City ICT solutions.