September 28, 2005

243 words 2 mins read

IPv6 is big.

Well I was looking up information about IPv6 today, and wikipedia as usual had a very intresting article about IPv6. Here’s an intresting quote: “while IPv6 supports about 3.4 × 1038 (340 undecillion) addresses — about 4.3 × 1020 (430 quintillion) addresses per square inch (6.7 × 1017 (670 quadrillion) addresses/mm²) of the Earth’s surface.". Thats 430 quintillion address per square inch (FYI A Quintillion is 10^18). Lets stop for a second to figure out how big that is. Your average PDA (or at least my Palm Tungsten C) is 4 inches tall, 3 inches wide and half an inch thick. If you were to assume that each PDA had one IP Address, and stacked up the PDA’s ontop of each other (see where I’m going here?). You’d have a really huge stack of PDA’s.

In fact the stack would be so large that converting the number into miles is meaninglessly big. The stack of PDA’s would be 6,931 light years tall. Now seeing is how our nearest neighbor in the galaxy is Proxima Centauri @ a tiny 4.22 light years away — our stack of PDA would reach from earth to Proxima Centauri and back just over 821 times. Thats alot of damned palmtops.

Hopefully I got all that math right — or at least close. The idea is that its really damned big. And if you dont understand the above — The number of unique ip address in IPv6 is: 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456