The University of California, Santa Barbara has just announced the creation of a new research center that will focus on developing the technology behind a new generation of Ethernet — and perhaps a whole new era for computation in the cloud. Not only will the team seek to provide 1 Terabit Ethernet over optical fiber by 2014, it will do so with the target of extreme efficiency in mind.
The Terabit Optical Ethernet Center (TOEC), which has found willing industry partners in Google, Intel, Verizon and others, will, according to the release, “build on UCSB’s expertise in materials, advanced electronics, photonic integrated circuit technology, silicon photonoics and high-speed integrated optical and electronic circuits” in order to bring this vision to life.
According to Daniel Blumenthal, professor of Electrical and Computer engineering at UCSB and director of TOEC, the goal “is to make energy-saving technologies that will allow applications and the underlying networks to continue to scale as needed. You could think of it as greening future networks, and the systems that rely on those networks.”
Blumenthal admits that to reach the lofty goal, there are multi-disciplinary efforts that must culminate to meet the group’s aims, including the development of breakthrough technologies that go far beyond general networking and engineering. This is part of the reason why UCSB has partnered with a range of industry leaders, including Intel, who will be working to develop new strategies involving silicon photonics to create the energy-efficient devices.