updated 10:35 am EST, Thu March 8, 2012
IBM shows off optical chipset prototype in LA
At the Optical Fiber Communication Conference in LA, IBM will talk about its latest prototype optical chipset that is the first to reach one terabit per second data speeds. Dubbed Holey Optochip, it's eight times faster than modern optical components, and IBM compares its total bandwidth to 100,000 users at common 10Mbps Internet access speeds. The chip was made by fabricating 48 holes through a standard silicon CMOS chip.
The holes allow optical access through the back of the chip to 24 receiver and 24 transmitter channels. It measures 5.8mm (0.23 inches) by 5.2mm (0.20 inches) and uses light pulses to transfer data rather than electrons over wires like traditional chips. The Optochip module uses components that are now commercially available and uses less than five watts of power.
The plan is to commercialize the technology within the next ten years with the cooperation of manufacturing partners. [via PhysOrg]