The speed and performance war aren’t just related to processing but also to plain data transfer and IBM seems to be hard at work to get things to move faster. Scientists over at IBM have deviced what they’re calling the Holey Optochip, which is capable of transferring data at a mind boggling speed of 1 terabit per second – something like 500 HD movies in a second. The detailed report of the new chip will be presented at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference in Los Angeles. The new chip is said to be much faster – some eight times faster than existing optical data mediums. Most of the world currently uses 100Mbps lines which results in roughly 12MB/s of bandwidth – the new chip should be able to boost that number hundreds of times. IBM researcher, Clint Schow has great hopes for the new technology and he feels it will change the way data transmission works today.

Much required boost in speeds!

Much required boost in speeds!

The speciality of the new technology is that it uses light instead of electrons like the ones used on traditional networks. Use of optical technology means that manufacturing costs are really low as compared to older technologies. All the technology required to build the chip is already available, so mass producing the chip shouldn’t be a big hassle. The Holey Optochip was made by making 48 holes through standard silicon CMOS chips. Light then passes on through to 24 receiver and 24 transmitting channels, which in turn form the system which delivers this massive amount of bandwidth. 

The efficiency of the module is also equally impressive as the speed. The transreceiver takes no more than 5W of power. The chip is also minute – it measures roughly 5.2 x 5.8 mm in dimension, which means implementation should be easier for all kinds of products. The biggest implementation will however be for mainstream data networks that connect the internet. With the kind of bandwidth requirements being seen today, cheap, affordable, adaptable and high performance solutions is just what the web needs. 

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