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March 19, 2008

IBM makes progress toward optical on chip communication which could speed data transfer 100 times and reduce power by 10 times

BM Researchers Develop World’s Tiniest Nanophotonic Switch to route optical data between cores in future computer chips. If light can be used instead of wires, as much as 100 times more information can be sent between cores, while using 10 times less power and consequently generating less heat.

The report on this work, entitled “High-throughput silicon nanophotonic wavelength-insensitive switch for on-chip optical networks” by Yurii Vlasov, William M. J. Green, and Fengnian Xia of IBM’s T.J.Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. is published in the April 2008 issue of the journal Nature Photonics. This work was partially supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through the Defense Sciences Office program “Slowing, Storing and Processing Light”.


UPDATE:
Japan's NEC is using something similar (high speed optical interconnects) as the basis of their 2010 ten petaflop supercomputer

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