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IBM shows off one terabit per second 'Holey Optochip'

The company has unveiled a prototype optical chipset dubbed 'Holey Optochip' that can transfer data at one terabit a second, holding the potential to revolutionise supercomputing and datacentres
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

IBM has outlined a prototype optical chipset called Holey Optochip that can transfer one terabit of information a second.

IBM's Holey Optochip

IBM has unveiled a prototype optical chipset dubbed 'Holey Optochip' that can transfer data at one terabit a second. Image credit: IBM

That throughput — assuming the chip eventually scales — could provide a bandwidth boost that alters the supercomputing and datacentre landscape. Scientists from IBM presented the prototype at the Optical Fiber Communications Conference in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Holey Optochip is a parallel optical transceiver that has the speed to equal the bandwidth consumed by 100,000 users at a 10Mb/s clip. IBM said that it created 48 holes in a standard CMOS chip. These holes allow optical access through the back of the chip to 24 receiver and 24 transmitter channels. These lanes allow data to transfer freely. IBM created the prototype using off-the-shelf components.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see IBM's Holey Optochip could be supercomputing, data center boon on ZDNet.com.


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