Optical Breakthrough Can Shrink SuperComputers

An IBM research team has developed a new kind of optical modulator that converts a digital electrical signal carried on a wire into a series of light pulses that can be carried on a silicon nanophotonic waveguide. Essentially what this means is that going forward, a series of multicore computer chips could be connected via these modulators.

The new technology aims to enable a power-efficient method to connect hundreds or thousands of cores together on a tiny chip by eliminating the wires required to connect them. Using light instead of wires to send information between the cores can be 100 times faster and use 10 times less power than wires.

To see how it works, check out the video:

Giant supercomputers of today will, in the future, shrink in size, thanks to this development. Or perhaps we have humongous computing power in our laptops. From a broadband perspective, we can think about putting optical routing on a chip, lowering costs and power requirements, and have a major impact in terms of boosting bandwidth.

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