Intel has opened a laboratory for Cambridge University academics and Intel researchers to work together on open research projects.
The Intel Research Cambridge lab is the fourth Intel Open Collaborative university-linked facility, and the first outside the US.
It will focus on new networking and software to enable distributed systems.
Dr Derek McAuley, an affiliated lecturer at Cambridge University's computer laboratory, and a founding member of both the Microsoft and Marconi Cambridge labs, will be the director.
"We will be looking at the nuts and bolts," he said. "[For instance] optical switching is needed for fibre used for 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
"We will work on copper - up to 6Gb - and figure out how to bring together different network architectures, including 100Gb or terabit Ethernet."
Dr David Tennenhouse, corporate group vice president and director of research at Intel, said: "This is the third era of computing.
"We're getting to a ubiquitous network. The objective is to get a fast start. We need to understand how these networks should be designed."
But he stressed that the research would not be proprietary to Intel, and that the university, rather than Intel, would direct the staff. The findings will be published for others to comment on.
The lab will initially employ around 20 Intel researchers and the same number of university staff and students. But its work will fan out to involve some 200 students.
The other Intel Open Collaborative research laboratories are at the universities of California at Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon and Washington.
Dr McAuley said that these institutions are already actively exchanging information.
Intel Research has labs at the University Politecnica de Catalunya in Barcelona doing proprietary research on microprocessors, and is building technology research and product development facilities in three Russian cities.
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