IBM chip: light to speed up internet services


IBM says it has developed a chip that makes it easier to shuttle data about through pulses of light instead of using electrical signals. Information of the development is to be obtainable at the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco later. 

The team has made it possible for this conversion procedure to take place on a computer chip that integrates optical components side-by-side with electrical circuits on the same piece of silicon, and can be mass produced at a moderately cheap price.
According to the team behind the development using light, rather than the flow of electrons, to transmit data has so many advantages. Data can be sent more distances between different parts of a server center without the risk of losing information. Also data centers have already started using optical cables to swap data between racks of computer chips instead of copper cables.

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