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Glimmerglass, U of Illinois to Develop LambdaGrid Apps

Photonics.com
Nov 2003
HAYWARD, Calif., & CHICAGO, Nov. 5 -- Glimmerglass, a supplier of transparent connectivity solutions, and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago have announced a partnership to support development of a new class of applications running on high-performance computers configured into grids that are interconnected with fiber optic links.

Glimmerglass is providing a System 300E Layer 1 fiber switch configured with Photonic Multicasting to EVL, and the partners are collaborating on grid-related application research, proofs of concept, technical publications and presentations. They will demonstrate applications of transparent connectivity and Glimmerglass Photonic Multicasting technology at the SC 2003 supercomputing conference, to be held Nov. 15-21 in Phoenix, Ariz.

The companies said the partnership recognizes the potential associated with the convergence of two new technologies, grid middleware and affordable lambda networks, which is leading to the creation of LambdaGrids, which essentially eliminate bandwidth as a barrier to interactive exploration of large remote databases. Lambdas are wavelengths of laser light used to send parallel streams of data over a single optical fiber. These links are the superhighways over which information between Grid computing nodes flows.

Glimmerglass said its 300E enables "streaming computing," the streaming of information -- whether high-resolution imagery or massive databases -- among the elements of the LambdaGrid with little or no latency. Grid developers, such as EVL, will experiment with the Glimmerglass system to dynamically offload large data-communications flows over optical networking testbeds. Because the Glimmerglass system switches lambdas transparently without detection and signal regeneration, it is "future-proof" -- able to support any transmission speed or protocol, such as Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet and beyond, including standards not yet available today, the company said.

EVL said it expects a paradigm shift in high-performance networks as applications move to new Grid-based system architectures, such as the OptIPuter, where the optical network acts like an enormous systems bus, connecting various data, computing and visualization components that are distributed globally.

"The functional richness of elements like the Glimmerglass system is increasing all the time," said Jason Leigh, associate professor of computer science at EVL. "Features such as Glimmerglass's Photonic Multicasting technology should make it easier to advance my research on amplified collaborative environments, which are 'war rooms' for distributed teams that share high-resolution immersive data visualizations."

EVL and Glimmerglass said they will collaborate "to integrate their proof-of-concept investigations into applications-centric network middleware, enabling application developers to access advanced transparent connectivity capabilities of future LambdaGrids, thereby facilitating the adoption of these advanced micro-photonics products."

For more information, visit: glimmerglass.com



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