IBM Chips to Use Silicon Nanophotonics to Wrangle Big Data
IBM announces a breakthrough in chip technology with silicon nanophotonics, which uses light instead of electrical signals to transmit information.IBM Research has announced a major advance in the ability to use light instead of electrical signals to transmit information for future computing. The Big Blue breakthrough comes in the area of silicon nanophotonics, which allows the integration of different optical components side-by-side with electrical circuits on a single silicon chip using, for the first time, sub-100nm semiconductor technology, the company said. Silicon nanophotonics takes advantage of pulses of light for communication and provides for the movement of large volumes of data at rapid speeds between computer chips in servers, large data centers and supercomputers -- alleviating the limitations of congested data traffic and high-cost traditional interconnects, IBM said. In essence, the pulses of light on a chip provide for a super highway for data, IBM said. “This technology breakthrough is a result of more than a decade of pioneering research at IBM,” said John E. Kelly, senior vice president and director of IBM Research, in a statement. “This allows us to move silicon nanophotonics technology into a real-world manufacturing environment that will have impact across a range of applications.”
Enterprises and organizations are entering a new era of computing that requires systems to process and analyze, in real-time, huge volumes of information known as big data. Silicon nanophotonics technology provides answers to big data challenges by connecting various parts of large systems -- whether few centimeters or few kilometers apart from each other -- and move terabytes of data via pulses of light through optical fibers.