Years ago IBM began its gradual shift from consumer-facing computer company to focusing more on research targeting "big ideas." Now one of those deep research areas has yielded fruit that could influence the next phase of general computing and it's called silicon nanophotonics.
The development allows for the integration of electrical circuits alongside optical components on a single silicon chip. The announcement was made in conjunction with this week's IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco. This new combination configuration facilitates data transfers of up to 25 gigabits per second and could improve the efficiency and overall architecture of large data centers. The sub-100nm semiconductor technology was first trumpeted a couple of years ago by IBM Research, but it is only now ready for commercial deployment.
Because of the high capacity and low latency the technology delivers, this could be the boost cloud computing needs to truly become seamless and ubiquitous. The breakthrough is also seen as a boon for large-scale data transmissions in supercomputers.
Commenting on the development, IBM's director of research, Dr. John E. Kelly, said, "This technology breakthrough is a result of more than a decade of pioneering research at IBM. This allows us to move silicon nanophotonics technology into a real-world manufacturing environment that will have impact across a range of applications."
Via IBM Research