New ultra-fast fibre-optic network launched for researchers here

SINGAPORE - A new ultra-fast fibre optic network - 100 times the speed of fibre broadband to homes here - was launched on Thursday.

The first users of the government-funded network will be researchers and academics in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore.

Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network (SingAren) and National Research Foundation invested close to $10 million in this national research and education grid, dubbed SingAREN-Lightwave Internet Exchange (Slix).

It puts Singapore on par with similar grids in the United States and Europe with its speed of 100Gbps. It is also the fastest community network in Asia.

At such high speeds, a massive amount of, say, genome or climate change data can be transferred across the Internet in seconds instead of minutes. For instance, 3 terabyte of research data can be transferred in just 30 seconds over Slix, as opposed to 50 minutes over the older 1Gbps network researchers were previously using.

Slix makes it possible for resource-intensive research to be done between researchers here and those in the United States or Europe.

Mr Leong Mun Yuen, chief technology officer at the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said ultra-fast research grids such as Slix will speed up the rollout of high-tech applications and services like telemedicine. "It is critical as we grow to become a smart nation."