Cern, the particle physics center based in Geneva that created the web, has built "the grid," a replacement for the Internet that is 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, capable of downloading entire feature films in seconds and "sending the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds."
The grid may also have the capability to transmit holographic images, "allow instant online game with hundreds of thousands of players, and offer high-definition video telephony for the price of a local call."
Ian Bird, project leader for Cern's high-speed computing project, said grid technology could "make the internet so fast that people would stop using desktop computers to store information and entrust it all to the internet. Also, by transmitting data at lightning speed, the "frozen screen" can be eliminated, since its cause is trying to handle too much information.
The grid is unlikely to be directly available to home Internet users, but it will be available to telecoms providers and businesses, and dozens of other academic researchers such as astronomers and molecular biologists.
It has already been used to help design new drugs against malaria by analyzing 140m compounds, an undertaking that would have taken 420 years on a standard internet-linked PC.
"Projects like the grid will bring huge changes in business and society as well as science," Professor Tony Doyle, technical director of the grid project, said.
Source: Times Online