Scientists in the US, China and Russia will soon be able to cooperate trough a new high-speed computer network which includes the first direct computer link across the Russia-China border. This network is separated from the public Internet and will enable scientists to quickly transfer huge volumes of data to collaborate in real-time on expirments.
Russian and U.S. scientists have had direct computer linkage for about five years, but Russia and China often exchange scientific information by meeting in Chicago, said Greg Cole of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, one of the leaders of the Little GLORIAD project.
Finishing touches are being made on the Sino-Russian cable, and the global network should see its first traffic Jan. 5. The network rings the Northern Hemisphere, connecting Chicago with Amsterdam, Moscow, Siberia, Beijing and Hong Kong before hooking up with Chicago again.
The National Science Foundation contributed $2.8 million to the project. Russia and China invested similar amounts, Cole said.
The NCSA, based at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus, is no newcomer to the Internet. It was there ten years ago that software developers created Mosaic, the first webbrowser that combines graphics and text on a single page, opening the Web to the masses.