IBM Develops Nanophotonic Switch
March 18, 2008 1:07 PM
comment(s) - last by
A visual representation of a CPU using nanophotonic switches to direct light speed traffic between cores on a chip.
IBM continues push towards light speed computing
In 2005 International Business Machines demonstrated silicon nanophotonic devices that
slowed down light
via clever reflecting methods. Then in 2006 it showed how a similar device could be used to buffer a full byte of information in stored optical pulses, a necessity for optical computing.
In December 2007, researchers demonstrated a silicon device that transformed energy from electronic impulses from a processor into light pulses -- the pulses in the 2005 and 2006 developments were manually triggered.
Now, IBM has made another
significant research breakthrough
in its quest to achieve optical computing. Researchers at IBM have announced that they have developed the world's smallest nanophotonic switch. The tiny silicon device, measuring a mere hundredth of the size of a human hair, is an essential step towards creating "light transistors," that allow chips to process at the speed of light. Such chips could greatly outclass today's chips in performance and speed, as today's chips rely on slower electrical communication through copper wires.
Before such chips, though, an important stepping stone IBM sees is the use of its optical technologies in on chip networks. The optical devices could be put to use as a bus between cores in
IBM's next generation Cell processors
or other multicore systems.
Yurii Vlasov, manager of silicon nanophotonics at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center states, "
This new development is a critical addition in the quest to build an on-chip optical network."
IBM's partially DARPA-funded research is published in the April 2008 journal
, titled "
High-throughput silicon nanophotonic wavelength-insensitive switch for on-chip optical networks."
The switch takes light converted by IBM's other devices from electrical signals and can direct it along multiple routes. This will eventually allow on-chip optical interconnects. IBM states that the device fulfills several key criteria making it ideal for use on-chip. First, they state, it is extremely compact. Secondly, it can process multiple wavelengths of light (known as colors in the visible spectra). This means that with each wavelength transmitting data at up to 40 Gb/s, the aggregated bandwidth can exceed 1 Tb/s.
IBM has shown the device is tolerant to heat. This is an essential characteristic for successful on-chip deployment as modern processors develop "hot spots" which migrate around, based on changing loading conditions.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Technically ...
3/21/2008 12:04:01 PM
It's very interesting in what you say in your 2nd paragraph. Which makes more disappointed in what IBM has has in mind for the application of optical computing.
"The optical devices could be put to use as a bus between cores in IBM's next generation Cell processors". This to me seems like a waste of innovation if we were only to implicate it as a bus between two processing cores. Now to have information transfer inside the data execution units of the processor core itself using optics would be truly remarkable.
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
Did You Partake in "Black Friday/Thursday"?
Did You Partake in "Black Friday/Thursday"?
I skipped Thanksgiving to get the Black Thursday deals!
I spent Thanksgiving with friends/family, but I lined up at midnight for the deals!
Skip Thanksgiving? Wait in line? No way, but I'll go out today and see what's left.
I prefer Cyber Monday.
I don't do deal shopping... too much stress, it just isn't worth it.
IBM Shrinks Cell/B.E. to 45nm Process
February 7, 2008, 6:41 PM
IBM Slows Light: Announces Major Milestone for Optical Computing
December 25, 2006, 7:37 AM
SanDisk Unveils Pricey iXpand USB 2.0/Lightning Drive to Expand iPhone, iPad Storage
November 13, 2014, 2:29 PM
HP's 15.6" Omen Gaming Laptop is Incredibly Thin, Powerful
November 4, 2014, 10:34 AM
Tim Cook Touts Apple’s Product Portfolio, Performance in Letter to Employees
October 21, 2014, 8:05 AM
Lenovo Once Again The Top Global PC Maker, Apple Takes 50% of PC Profits
October 9, 2014, 7:46 AM
It’s Official: HP to Split Into Two Business Units
October 6, 2014, 8:14 AM
Quick Note: HP Plans to Split PC, Enterprise Units
October 5, 2014, 4:31 PM
Most Popular Articles
Hack of Sony Pictures Indicates Employees Were Pirating Blu-Rays
November 25, 2014, 4:00 PM
Google Caves to Microsoft and Apple's Pet "Patent Troll" Rockstar
November 24, 2014, 3:30 PM
Some High-End Luxury Watchmakers Crack Down Hard on Smartwatch Faces
November 26, 2014, 1:28 AM
Report: Samsung Galaxy S5 Sales Have Come in 40% Below Projections
November 24, 2014, 6:58 AM
Red Tape: Leaked FAA Drone Regulations Fly in the Face of Science, Economy
November 26, 2014, 12:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information