IBM has demonstrated the ability to use light instead of electrical signals to transmit information.
Called silicon nanophotonics, the technology allows the integration of different optical components side-by-side with electrical circuits on a single silicon chip that uses sub-100nm semiconductor technology.
‘This technology breakthrough is a result of more than a decade of pioneering research at IBM,’ said Dr John Kelly. He is senior vice president and director of IBM Research. ‘This allows us to move silicon nanophotonics technology into a real-world manufacturing environment that will have an impact across a range of applications.’
Silicon nanophotonics takes advantage of pulses of light for communication and provides a super highway for large volumes of data to move at rapid speeds between computer chips in servers, large datacenters, and supercomputers. The amount of data being created and transmitted over enterprise networks continues to grow due to an explosion of new applications and services. Silicon nanophotonics could enable industry to keep pace with increasing demands in chip performance and computing power.