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South Africa's bid for the SKA project aims to build over 3 000 linked radio telescopes in the Northern Cape to enable astronomers to study the ancient history and formation of the universe.
"Scaling up to the Square Kilometre Array, the science processing will have to work at 8 exaflops, now that's a lot faster than anything currently in existence and these numbers aren't affordable yet.
"We now have a 10Gbps link working but that can be scaled up to whatever is required by the SKA which, believe it or not, is 400 terabits per second. Now that is fast.
"That means that the Square Kilometre Array will be handling about 200 times the data rate of the entire internet. That is a challenge."