FRAMINGHAM (12/01/2003) - The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science last week awarded the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee US$4.5 million to design a high-speed network capable of operating at 10G to 40G bit/sec. That speed is about 200,000 to 800,000 times faster than the fastest dial-up connection of 56K bit/sec, according to a press release from the lab. The prototype system, dubbed Science UltraNet, would link ORNL with other research institutions that rely on supercomputers capable of trillions of calculations per second. The network would let the scientists quickly complete projects that require the transfer of large amounts of data. The three-year effort would let the three ORNL scientists in charge set up an experimental network linking the Oak Ridge lab to others in Atlanta, Chicago and California.