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IBM Combines Electrics, Optics On Same Chip

IBM says the technology will enable smaller, faster and more efficient processors on the path to exascale computing.

The new technology, called CMOS integrated silicon nanophotonics, was developed by IBM's Research Labs and have already achieved a 10x denser integration structure than today's chips, according to IBM. The company said that a single transceiver channel with all accompanying optical and electrical circuitry occupies about 0.5 mm2. The technology would allow single-chip transceivers with area sizes as small as 4x4 mm2, which, however, are cable of transmitting more than 1 Tb/s of data.

“Our CMOS Integrated Nanophotonics breakthrough promises unprecedented increases in silicon chip function and performance via ubiquitous low-power optical communications between racks, modules, chips or even within a single chip itself,” said Yurii Vlasov, Manager of the Silicon Nanophotonics Department at IBM Research. “The next step in this advancement is to establishing manufacturability of this process in a commercial foundry using IBM deeply scaled CMOS processes.”

The company claims that the chips can be produced on a standard CMOS processing line without the need for special tooling. There was no information if and when the technology will be put into production.

  • KingArcher
  • g00fysmiley
    0.o *twitch* can't wait for an estimated arival date for implementation :D
  • f-14
    more moore's law?
  • K2N hater
    Wonder if it's coming in a x86 flavour...
  • chickenhoagie
    K2N haterWonder if it's coming in a x86 flavour...screw x86! just give me the 64-bit chip and let me try to max this puppy out..note, i say try.
  • bison88
    Hah, all this time my old man was right saying CPU's would eventually move to optical connects. I didn't see how it would be possible. This could be a game changer, now we just need to overcome the shrinking process and silicon issue and we should be set for the future.
  • eyemaster
    greghomeProves once again, Intel and AMD aren't the leaders of the industry, IMO.IBM is still the largest IT business out thereIBM is more in Service Delivery and Mainframes, AMD / Intel is in consumer chips. 2 different fields.
  • Parsian
    Why IBM never dies? They are the leading edge of technology and innovation.
  • squallypie
    This article kinda proves to me that IBM is like the godfather of Intel/AMD/Microsoft. But i hope there are other companies out there that are as technologically advanced as IBM.

    "10x denser integration structure than today's chips"

    scares me!
  • megahustler
    scares me!
    I can assure you, that I'm completely incapable of harming a human, or through inaction cause a human to be harmed.

    I am however flexible on the terms "human" and "harm".