Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The World just got Smaller and Faster

IBM researchers have demonstrated a prototype optical transceiver chipset that will potentially open up all content to be downloaded. The technology is claimed to be eight times faster than current and uses light pulses instead of electrons. They also claim it could be embedded within applications by 2010.

IBM will build the new chipset by combining standard CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) technology, and optical components made from materials such as indium phosphide and gallium arsenide. The resulting package is just small enough to be integrated onto a printed circuit board.

They claim that it could reduce the download time of a typical high-definition feature-length movie from 30 minutes to one second. This demand for bandwidth has also others. In September, Intel and the University of California at Santa Barbara said they had discovered how to build low-cost ‘laser chips’ that move data faster than copper wire.

The full name of the new chipset is the "160Gb/s, 16-channel, full-duplex, single-chip CMOS optical transceiver" and it will presented at the Optical Fibre Conference later this month in California.

What is clear is that computing power is getting, faster, more efficient and smaller.