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IBM Announces Chip Breakthrough Using Silicon Nanophotonics

IBM has announced a breakthrough in supercomputing by using pulses of light to accelerate data transfer between chips.

According to PC World, the company claims that the breakthrough could boost the performance of supercomputers by a thousand times.

Will Green, silicon photonics research scientist at IBM explained that the new technology, CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics, is based on the integration of optical and electrical modules on a silicon chip. The electrical signals are then converted to pulses of light that result in faster data transfer between chips.

Green said in a statement: “In an exascale system, interconnects have to be able to push exabytes per second across the network. This is an interesting milestone for system builders [who are] looking at building ... exascale systems in 10 years.”

Another IBM analyst told Cnet that the it expects Samsung and Intel to build on its research, but claims that they will not be able to get any where near IBM.