South Korean researchers have created a software-based router that leaves similar devices in the dust. The virtual box can transmit data at 40 gigabytes per second - compared to the typical two or three - and runs on cheap, store-bought components.
Virtual routers work by emulating the proprietary components of a hardware router on inexpensive, easily procured chips - what's known as commodity computing. In this case, the team used computer GPU cards to break down complex, resource-hungry networking tasks. The hope is that virtual routers such as this could drastically reduce the number of physical boxes needed - to run data centres, businesses and even the internet itself. "We can expect killer apps out of this," explained a professor involved with the project. "Ultimately, you can experiment with new protocols that are not used in today's internet." [MIT Technology Review]