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IBM Has a Trillion-Bit, Insane Bandwidth "Holey Optochip"

By - Source: IBM | B 81 comments

IBM has a prototype chip that features enough bandwidth to download 500 HD movies in just one second, or all content held by the Library of Congress in just about one hour.

This claim boils down to a parallel optical transceiver that is first to boast the capability of transferring one trillion bits (1 Tbps or about 116.4 GBps). According to IBM, the chip is about eight times faster than any parallel optical component that is available today and delivers a 100,000 times the "raw" speed that is equivalent to the bandwidth that is typically consumed by end users today (10 Mbps).

IBM said that key to improving the speed of the chip was adding 48 holes (optical vias) to a standard 90 nm CMOS, which provides access to 24 receiver and 24 transmitter channels. The fact that it is based on optical communication features gave the chip its name - the Holey Optochip. IBM says the 5.2 mm x 5.8 mm chip can be fabricated using today's silicon manufacturing techniques, which gives the technology instant scale. Apparently the chip is also very power-efficient at a power consumption of just 5 watts.

There was no information when or if this chip will be put into production.

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  • 27 Hide
    frombehind , March 10, 2012 8:13 PM
    so... When do i get to download all those HD movies in 1 second? :D 
  • 24 Hide
    house70 , March 10, 2012 8:09 PM
    .....* speechless*.....
  • 22 Hide
    Pyree , March 10, 2012 8:32 PM
    ^So true. Not even the RAM in our home build can keep up with it.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    house70 , March 10, 2012 8:09 PM
    .....* speechless*.....
  • 27 Hide
    frombehind , March 10, 2012 8:13 PM
    so... When do i get to download all those HD movies in 1 second? :D 
  • 16 Hide
    woe96 , March 10, 2012 8:17 PM
    just if are hard drive had the speed to get all that
  • 22 Hide
    Pyree , March 10, 2012 8:32 PM
    ^So true. Not even the RAM in our home build can keep up with it.
  • 20 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , March 10, 2012 9:02 PM
    So it's super fast, super power efficient, and can be manufactured using today's techniques. I'd say that should mean we'll see it available in a couple of decades. That should be enough time for the scientists to convince the Republicans that it won't open the Hell Portal.
  • -2 Hide
    txsouthpaw , March 10, 2012 9:27 PM
    IndignantSkepticSo it's super fast, super power efficient, and can be manufactured using today's techniques. I'd say that should mean we'll see it available in a couple of decades. That should be enough time for the scientists to convince the Republicans that it won't open the Hell Portal.


    Right on, man. Good post.
  • 21 Hide
    wiyosaya , March 10, 2012 9:32 PM
    I can see it now. Here come the US carriers drooling over this - thinking of how much they can charge their subscribers for this blazingly fast speed.
  • 14 Hide
    ben850 , March 10, 2012 10:02 PM
    frombehindso... When do i get to download all those HD movies in 1 second?


    Then you'd face HDD/SSD write speeds :p 
  • 11 Hide
    nforce4max , March 10, 2012 10:05 PM
    Great now Euros will be surfing at ever faster speeds than ever before while the US lags behind in the stone ages all thanks to greedy corporations like Comcast and AT@T. If newer tech didn't kill their "dial up" most of us Americans probably would have still been stuck with it paying like $75 a month for it >.<

    Japan 10-125mb
    Euro 25-125mb
    American 56k-1.5mb -_-
    Rest of the world 56k-20mb
  • 21 Hide
    jhansonxi , March 10, 2012 10:07 PM
    wiyosayaI can see it now. Here come the US carriers drooling over this - thinking of how much they can charge their subscribers for this blazingly fast speed.

    It will be amazing how fast you can hit your bandwidth cap.
  • 17 Hide
    kyee7k , March 10, 2012 10:11 PM
    That picture reminds me of the Isolinear optical chips from TNG series.
  • 2 Hide
    K2N hater , March 10, 2012 10:25 PM
    5W only? Wonder if IBM will ever make one like that as PC main processor.
    frombehindso... When do i get to download all those HD movies in 1 second?

    You can always seed them at the bay for us xD
  • 8 Hide
    drumsrule786 , March 10, 2012 10:42 PM
    considering we only have 1Gb lan as standard STILL.... this wont come out for a long time :( 
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , March 10, 2012 10:47 PM
    DOWLOAD ALL THE INTERNETS!
  • 14 Hide
    rocso , March 10, 2012 10:51 PM
    IBM is still king of the Chip. Intel and AMD really never could compare.
  • 8 Hide
    drwho1 , March 10, 2012 10:52 PM
    frombehindso... When do i get to download all those HD movies in 1 second?


    Just as soon as the 100TB hard drives hit the market! :) 
  • 9 Hide
    jamie_1318 , March 10, 2012 11:00 PM
    Pyree^So true. Not even the RAM in our home build can keep up with it.

    That's okay, because the L1 Cache can keep up with it (; all 100k or so.
    In reality though you would use this chip in a server, connect it to 100 10Gbit Lan lines for further distribution. I wonder how they plan to set the rest of the system up though, but if they are as energy efficient as they are claiming there is no reason to not use them for a tenth on their bandwith and still make a significantly more powerful backbone depending on the distribution.
  • 9 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , March 10, 2012 11:02 PM
    1 Tbps? And here I am using 6 Gbps like a sucker....
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