NEWS10 December 2012

IBM hints at insight at the speed of light

North America Technology

US — IBM claims to have made a major technological breakthrough that will tackle some of the challenges associated with big data – specifically the ability to quickly transfer large amounts of data.

The advance relates to the ability to use light instead of electrical signals to transmit information.

The announcement

“The breakthrough technology – called ‘silicon nanophotonics’ – 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.

“Silicon nanophotonics takes advantage of pulses of light for communication and provides a super highway for large volumes of data to move at rapid speeds between computer chips in servers, large datacenters, and supercomputers, thus alleviating the limitations of congested data traffic and high-cost traditional interconnects.

“Businesses 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 seamlessly 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.”