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IBM makes supercomputer breakthrough


Electricity into light

has moved a step closer to creating a supercomputer on a single chip after its scientists have managed to convert electrical signals into light pulses.

According to Optics Express, IBM has created electro-optic modulators 100 to 1,000 times smaller than comparable silicon photonics modulators. These are small enough to fit on a processor chip, and will enable processor cores to be connected by light instead of wires. It removes the problems of high energy consumption and heat generated by multi-core chips.

Big Blue describes the breakthrough as a "milestone" in its quest to connect hundreds or thousands of processing cores on a tiny chip.
Last modified on 10 December 2007
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