There is in the need for greater security the opportunity to leverage 25 years of rapid technical progress and thereby broaden the scope of what networked computing can do for society.
Glass fiber can bring a full range of communication and multimedia services to every home in the United States. Fiber has the potential to deliver fast, reliable, and private service, far surpassing the performance of DSL and cable modems. It is widely recognized that ubiquitous Broadband service will have a huge impact on the economy of the United States.
This new infrastructure will deliver the high image quality that flat-screen technology permits, and the privacy and reliability which an information based society requires. For example, high-speed, high-resolution interactive communications will enable substantially improved medical service for all people across the country. Interaction will match a human response time, and image resolution will be sufficient for medical examination of a patient. Applications such as these will be relied upon every minute of every day; privacy and reliability will be key requirements.
Mobility must become an inherent property of the network, not a late addition overlaid on a fixed-wire infrastructure. Broadband wireless will reach its full potential when it operates in conjunction with a ubiquitous fiber infrastructure. A multitude of radio cells and inconspicuous base stations will provide high performance and good coverage at low cost because they fully utilize the broadband capacity present in every neighborhood.
Transistor speed has reached the end of its exponential improvement. Multi-core chips and multi-thread computation are now the hope for improvements in computer performance. The computer is becoming a network. Meanwhile, ad-hoc networks and small devices with embedded processors are growing rapidly in number. The network’s boundary is no longer so clear as it once was.
Internet service has reached a critical and exciting stage. The frontier is shifting from corporate and academic campuses to consumers, their homes and a new life-style which mobile networked devices enable. There is no need to be alone or out of touch, wherever you are. Expect this to have a significant social impact in the years ahead - on family structure, on where people live, and on the relationships that people form.
Toys, tools and forms of entertainment are also changing. Flat-screen monitors, and pocket-sized televisions are changing the video experience. Outstanding audio quality is available through headphones with noise cancellation and networks of speakers with echo cancellation. Self publication of audio, video and text is exploding in volume and in the number of forms that it takes.
This surely is becoming a world in which networking and computing are becoming one. It is a unique opportunity for a vibrant, stimulating, and open-ended research program. It is a time to take a fresh look at network architecture and its integration with computer systems.
It is in this spirit that Fraser Research is taking a fresh look at network architecture, with a focus on consumers and large-scale network deployment. Everything from new switching techniques to protected information flows is being considered. New techniques that make the Internet easier to understand and use are an essential part of the research agenda.