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  • Japan Network Project Aims at Terabit Speeds
  • January 7, 1999 (TOKYO) — Japan launched a high-speed network technology project aimed at achieving terabit speeds (1,000 gigabits per second) in data transmission.
    The project is supported by the University of Tokyo as a key member and corporations such as Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT), Hitachi Ltd., NEC Corp., Fujitsu Ltd. and Toshiba Corp.

    This project is named the Project of Research and Development and the Evaluation of Interoperability of Super High-Speed Communications Networks with Enhanced Functionality (also called the Terabit Supra Network).

    Professor Hiroshi Yasuda of the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology of the University of Tokyo took the initiative for the project. On Dec. 25, 1998, all the members held a plenary meeting and inaugurated steering, study and other committees.

    “Currently, research and development of high-speed communications networks of gigabit speeds has been making progress. However, there is no R&D; focused on transmission capability at terabit speeds,” Yasuda said.

    In the Supra Project, leading-edge R&D; is expected to be conducted with the realization that it is the terabit, instead of the gigabit, that helps networks and multimedia come together in everyday life.

    The members of the project are the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology of the University of Tokyo as well as NTT, Hitachi, NEC, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Denso Corp., Hucom Inc. the Fibre Channel Association-Japan and others.

    A research fund, totaling several hundred million yen, is supplied by the Machinery and Information Industries Bureau of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) as well as an affiliate of MITI, the Information Technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPA).

    There are five study committees currently established. Each has the following themes of research: (1) New transfer systems, (2) Super high-speed transport protocols with enhanced functionality, (3) The user network interface/application programming interface (UNI/API) of networks with enhanced functionality, (4) The next generation of video conference systems, and (5) Evaluation of interoperability with gigabit networks.

    An experimental network is due to be built in early 1999 and various software development is to start. The project also is expected to issue an interim report in February 1999 and a final report in February 2000. Afterward, it will be dissolved.

    Source codes, as a result of the research by each study committee, will be made public as much as possible. What the project targets is to form forums and create defacto standards by the core members of the project.

    Related story: Hitachi, NEC to Develop Next-Generation Internet Technologies

    (Nikkei Communications)



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