The OptIPuter, so named for its use of Optical networking, Internet Protocol, computer storage, processing and visualization technologies, is an envisioned infrastructure that will tightly couple computational resources over parallel optical networks using the IP communication mechanism. The OptIPuter exploits a new world in which the central architectural element is optical networking, not computers – creating “supernetworks”. This paradigm shift requires large-scale applications-driven, system experiments and a broad multidisciplinary team to understand and develop innovative solutions for a “LambdaGrid” world. The goal of this new architecture is to enable scientists who are generating terabytes and petabytes of data to interactively visualize, analyze, and correlate their data from multiple storage sites connected to optical networks.
The OptIPuter’s broad multidisciplinary team is conducting large-scale, application-driven system experiments with two data-intensive e-science efforts to ensure a useful and usable OptIPuter design: EarthScope, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These images are provided by organizing members of these projects, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research at University of California, San Diego.