IBM finds breakthrough in internet download speeds


Vick Karunakaran
Biz/Tech Reporter

A tiny chip technology has just raised the bar for  internet speed as tech companies race to develop infrastructures for ultra-fast connections.

According to a recent press release, IBM researchers developed a chip that will help improve internet speeds up to 400 gigabits per second. That is three times the peak internet traffic speed clocked at the internet Exchange Point for Toronto, the physical access point where all internet traffic crosses in the GTA.

“It’s not just about the speed,” said Vincent Shaikh, Associate Dean for the Engineering programs at the Humber School of Applied Technology. Telephone, internet and television signals are now converging into a single data line, the industry term for which is the Network Convergence, Shaikh said.

“It’s about having a quality of experience,” he said.

Enterprises request their internet service providers for what he called guaranteed quality of service (QoS). When a line is transmitting a phone call and data packets for internet browsing, QoS gives higher priority to voice, Shaikh said.

For Humber student Farishta Qadirian, 18-year-old first year General Arts and Science student, high-speed internet means the connection should not lag when trying to watch videos online.

As Big Data and internet traffic continues to grow exponentially, future technologies will have to support higher data rates, the IBM release said.

Shaikh said the advent of cloud computing where large enterprises require instant access to virtual data needs very high speed and high QoS internet.

Data centers, data analytics and high definition media content will also benefit from these fast connections, said Shaikh.

Canadians are among the world’s heaviest users of the internet according to the Canadian internet Registration Authority Factbook 2013. CIRA reported Canadians spend the most time online compared to other nations – averaging 45 hours per month.

Qadirian said she would use high-speed connections to watch movies, television shows and use social media, and for school.

“Faster the better, always,” said 30-year-old second year Humber Arborist student Marcus Desantis.

But he wondered: “How much they wanna charge for that though, man?”