Calit2 and EVL: CAVEwave, OptIPuter as Catalysts for Wide-Ranging Innovations

September 29th, 2009

Categories: Applications, Devices, Industry, Networking, Software, Supercomputing, Tele-Immersion, User Groups, Visualization, VR

EVL Director Jason Leigh: SAGE Visualcasting with a Calit2 OptIPortal
EVL Director Jason Leigh: SAGE Visualcasting with a Calit2 OptIPortal


Read the complete article on the National LambdaRail website.

The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California, San Diego and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have both been NLR users for more than 5 years, having leased a dedicated 10-Gbps circuit between Chicago and San Diego in September 2004 to support the NSF-funded OptIPuter project.

“Before NLR we had no option for getting lightpaths to a broad set of points in the U.S.,” said Tom DeFanti, Research Scientist, Calit2 at UC San Diego and a co-founder of EVL. “NLR allowed UIC to connect to UC San Diego and also the University of Washington in Seattle, bringing the many international circuits that come to StarLight and the Pacific Northwest GigaPoP to Calit2. No other country in the world has anything like NLR where researchers can procure bandwidth easily, apolitically and at a highly cost-effective price point.”

As the OptIPuter project gained momentum and branched into new areas, the 3,200-mile wavelength, known as CAVEwave, because its funding came from the royalties that UIC got for the CAVE virtual reality system licensing, has been the platform making possible numerous innovations.

“CAVEwave was first and foremost used to develop high-performance visualization middleware, new network protocols and new distributed data coupling techniques between UIC / EVL and UCSD / Calit2 as part of OptIPuter,” according to Maxine Brown, EVL Associate Director.

Over the years, the CAVEwave was extended to McLean, VA to allow experiments with NASA Goddard in Maryland, an OptIPuter partner, and with the J. Craig Venter Institute, Calit2’s partner in the CAMERA metagenomics project.

SAGE, the Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment, is a major outcome of the OptIPuter project. SAGE is cross-platform middleware that enables users worldwide to have a common operating environment, or framework, for accessing, streaming and juxtaposing high-resolution visualizations on one or more OptIPortals. (An OptIPortal is an ultra-high-resolution tiled display wall, interconnected to other OptIPortals and data sources by optical networks.)