IBM unveils silicon photonics chip to boost data transfer beyond 100Gb/s2015-05-15 09:56 by Daniela
Tags: IBM, photonics, chip
IBM has recently showed off a fully integrated wavelength multiplexed photonics chip designed in their research lab. This is a breakthrough in technology and would allow 100 Gb/s optical transceivers to be manufactured. The chip would also provide a more economical way to move the huge amounts of data required for cloud computing and big data applications.
"Making silicon photonics technology ready for widespread commercial use will help the semiconductor industry keep pace with ever-growing demands in computing power driven by big-data and cloud services," says Arvind Krishna, senior VP & director of IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, NY. "This technology is designed to make future computing systems faster and more energy efficient," he adds.
"Fully integrated" means that optical components are integrated alongside traditional electrical circuits on a single silicon chip using sub-100nm semiconductor technology. IBM calls the process "CMOS Integrated Nano-Photonics Technology."
The speed that the new transceiver achieves is enough to pass off 63 million tweets or six million images in just one second, and enable an entire high-definition digital movie to be downloaded in just two seconds.
The company already supports reference design kits (RDKs) and has partners interested in leveraging its silicon photonics platform for their own purposes.
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