10-gigabit ethernet adapter

Award Year 

Have you ever tried to download a high–resolution graphic, movie, or video game from the Internet? Such downloads can take hours, and if you're lucky, your computer won't lockup and the download will come through successfully. Now imagine that by installing a simple adapter into your computer you could transfer information up to 148,000 times faster than a high–speed modem connection and up to 23,000 times faster than a DSL connection. (more)

This super–adapter's plug–and–play installation, reliability, and unprecedented speed will revolutionize how computers and the Internet have a positive impact on our lives. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) optimized Intel's® PRO/10GbE LR Server Adapter and its associated subsystems, thereby enhancing its performance by 300%.

The 10–Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (10GbE) consists ofan Intel® 82597EX 10GbE controller, 512 kilobytes of flash memory, and Intel® 1310–nanometer serial optics. Such enhanced speed benefits numerous markets:

  • Entertainment markets include videoediting and animation (10GbE networksand adapters were used in making the 2003blockbuster movie Hulk), video– andmusic–on–demand, video games, and file–sharing applications such as iTunes, Kazaa,Napster, and Gnutella.
  • Worldwide modeling and simulationmarkets include modeling global weatherprediction and the spread of wildfires,simulating the communicability ofcontagious diseases, studying galaxyformations and supernova explosions,modeling and forecasting financialmarkets, and sequencing the humangenome.
  • Data acquisition and data mining marketsinclude military intelligence andreconnaissance, basic–science research(fusion, bioinformatics, and aerospace),and data warehousing.
  • Medical applications include interactivedistance education (both for patients andmedical personnel), expedited patientcare, and enhanced diagnostic imaging.

Intel and LANL operated under the auspices of a nondisclosure agreement that stipulated that modifications or optimizations to the existing code base or configuration of the 10GbE would be fed back to Intel. In return, LANL would have unencumbered access to the hardware, firmware, low–level software, extensive documentation, and the potential for publishing its results. The laboratory's simple nondisclosure agreement enabled computational scientist Dr. Wu–chen Feng to transfer the technology quickly and easily. Many other institutions were mired in so much “legalese” that they could not come to terms with Intel. 10GbE could revolutionize the impact of computers and the Internet on our lives, allowing computer and storage nodes distributed around the world to be interconnected and serve as the basis for tomorrow's virtual worldwide supercomputer.