A technological breakthrough has occurred that will revolutionize communications and computing: IBM has discovered how to transfer one trillion bits of information (1 Terabit) per second using a prototype optical chip dubbed the Holey Optochip.
Using optics instead of semiconductor and metal circuits is cheaper and much more efficient, allowing the raw speed of one [Holey] transceiver [to be] equivalent to the bandwidth consumed by 100,000 users at today’s typical 10 Mb/s high-speed Internet access. They have once again striven to take computing to a new frontier.
With everyone from phone companies (and AT&T’s unlimited limitations) to cable providers sniveling over the high demand for limited bandwidth – that chokes them and their profits, and then in turn the consumers who are just trying to plug away on the net – IBM’s optical innovation could be a welcome fix in the coming decade.
IBM Researcher Clint Schow says that this “marks IBM’s latest milestone to develop chip-scale transceivers that can handle the volume of traffic in the era of big data. We have been actively pursuing higher levels of integration, power efficiency and performance.”
Schow and the rest of the team’s holiest of inventions consumes less than five watts of energy, meaning that the power consumed by a 100W light bulb could power 20 of these optical chipset transceivers.
And IBM estimates it would take just around an hour to transfer the entire US Library of Congress’ web archive through this Holey Optochip at one trillion bits of information per second.
I’ll say that again: one trillion bits of information per second. And there is the LOC’s whole web archive on your laptop.
Optical networking sends the flow of data soaring using light pulses, instead of sending electrons over wires, thereby offering the potential to significantly improve data transfer rates. And by utilizing parallel optics rather than traditional duplex fiber optics, data can be transmitted and received simultaneously over multiple optical fibers, while using less power and less expensive wiring.
The ever-growing global demand for broadband might not be such a reach anymore, as the Holey Optochip breaks down barriers that expensive cable requirements currently require.