Boston University Partners with Intune Networks on Telecommunications Research

in Faculty, News-EP, Recognition, Research, Research-EP
March 7th, 2012

Boston University Professor Alexander Sergienko (ECE) (left) poses with Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Enda Kenny (center), and Jim Lowrie, senior vice president of worldwide sales for Intune Networks.

Boston University Professor Alexander Sergienko (ECE) (left) poses with Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Enda Kenny (center), and Jim Lowrie, senior vice president of worldwide sales for Intune Networks.

As the world becomes more dependent on telecommunications, the older generation networks these run on become more and more overloaded. In the future, they will not be able to effectively support the traffic. To solve this problem, Boston University and Intune Networks recently announced that they will team up to work toward finding a solution.

Their research partnership, known as the Boston University Research Switch and Transport Network (BURST), will bring collaborators from BU’s Photonics Center and Ireland’s Intune Networks together to study new optical network architectures and identify how they can be used to combat the challenges of rising Internet usage.

“With internet video forecast to be 62 percent of consumer Internet traffic by 2015, carriers providing consumer Internet face both a challenge and an opportunity,” said Professor Alexander Sergienko (ECE), who has been instrumental in bringing this project to BU.

BURST will serve as a testbed for Intune’s innovative Optical Packet Switch and Transport (OPST), technology that provides a new way to switch optical signals in a network.

Intune’s creation is the first commercial implementation of optical packet switching. The technology, which includes a networking platform that allows packets of data to be transferred simultaneously, has the potential to provide a solution for rising bandwidth demand and make networking both more efficient and green.

Said Sergienko: “We are very excited to work with Intune Networks and look forward to finding solutions to this growing problem and working collaboratively to contribute to research in this area.”

As part of the partnership, BU will receive approximately $3 million from Intune for development, operations and hardware.

Jim Lowrie, the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Intune Networks, said that Intune’s partnership with BU will give their company a chance to show the potential of their OPST technology, which will undergo US commercial trials this year, to Boston organizations.

“As we respond to the growing need to address the challenges caused by Internet usage trends, we are delighted to have a strategic partnership in place with Boston University,” said Lowrie.

Sergienko said that the collaboration has the potential to tie together major technology centers – from universities to business parks – using the new network.

“The proposed architecture promises a green approach to information transfer through lower resource consumption, ultimately delivering greater cost efficiency for future traffic volumes and improved quality of experience compared to current metro network architectures,” he said.

-Rachel Harrington (rachelah@bu.edu)