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IBM Develops Light-Using Chip For High-Speed Data Transmissions

Computer chips conventionally make use of electric signals to transmit data. However, there are limits to the speed of signals and consequently, this limits the data transmission speeds. IBM now claims that it has developed a new chip which uses light instead of electric signals and ensures higher data transmission speeds.


IBM Light-using chip

Currently, a number of alternatives are being explored by researchers around the globe to somehow bolster the data-transmission capabilities of the chips. This new chip by IBM is another one of them.

According to the researchers who worked on this chip, data can be sent with greater accuracy and across longer distances by making use of it. Moreover, the speeds at which data is transmitted is also significantly high.

The researchers argue that light can transmit a greater amount of data at a given time, and at a greater speed, as compared to electric signals. And therein lies the advantage of using this new chip. However, a slight downside of this new chip is that for now, IBM has to make use of special hardware which can turn the light-encoded data back into the kind that electric signals would have sent, so that the computer at the receiving end may process it.

The design of the new chip comprises of multiple channels each of which can handle up to 25Gbps of light-encoded data. It essentially uses the nanophotonic technology to transmit data, something IBM has been working on for years.

Such a high-speed chip can indeed be a very viable solution to the data transmission needs of data centers and tech companies around the globe. With the extraordinary growth of the online audience, hefty amounts of digital data is being generated each second much of which is stored on a server somewhere. Nanophotonic chips can make the process of data transmission quicker and more effective, both for the users and the companies.

Source: BBC

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