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[DailyTech] IBM Manufactures Nanophotonics on 90 nm CMOS, Demos 25 GBPS Per Channel

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=29377
Quote:
Currently, signals between components like the processor cores and the memory crawl along as electrons along copper-based wires. In the new scheme modulators (which create the signal, often using a ring), wave-length multiplexers (which route signals), switches (which turn signals on or off), and detectors (which receive signals) are baked onto silicon chips connected by fiber optics. Signals then travel at the speed of light along fiber optic channels.

Com'on optical CPUs!
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post #2 of 55
Wow 90nm is actually very small for this tech. I hope IBM sticks to it.
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post #3 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy4 View Post

Wow 90nm is actually very small for this tech. I hope IBM sticks to it.

Intel wants this tech too since they realized that interconnects will eventually bottleneck their CPUs. (i.e. Light Peak)
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post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

Intel wants this tech too since they realized that interconnects will eventually bottleneck their CPUs. (i.e. Light Peak)

Maybe their solution will be different. The article was a little vague, but it seems like all the computing is done on silicon. The real increase as IBM has designed it is in how clusters of transistors connect to one another it seems.
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post #5 of 55
I'm lost...how is light signals faster/better than electrical? Or I'm too stupid to get this? redface.gif
     
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post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

I'm lost...how is light signals faster/better than electrical? Or I'm too stupid to get this? redface.gif

Basically higher bandwidth. The speed difference is close to neglibe, as while light -well - travels at the speed of light then electron mass is pretty small as well to not be really an issue. Electrons themselves move anyway relatively slow, it's the field that propagates at close to the speed of light.

There is some other issues ofc, but light can support a lot higher frequencies and as such higher bandwidth and also - less inteference goin with these high frequency signals so things can be packed tighter.
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post #7 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy4 View Post

Maybe their solution will be different. The article was a little vague, but it seems like all the computing is done on silicon. The real increase as IBM has designed it is in how clusters of transistors connect to one another it seems.
Well, the issue is that electro-optical convertors (read: lasers) are still too big and expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

I'm lost...how is light signals faster/better than electrical? Or I'm too stupid to get this? redface.gif

The same reasons that fiber optic is better than copper wiring....

1) Light of different wavelengths are non-interfering.... so you can jam 100 seperate channels into a single cable instead of just 1.
2) Light does not encounter resistence as bad as electrical... so it can go further using less power.
3) Optical is faster than electromagnetic wave propagation of electrical signal.
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post #8 of 55
OK....so a gross over generalization is not so much that it will just send the same amount of information faster...but that you can cram more information in the same timeframe as you can use multiple channels? So basically it's like changing from a 2 lane high way to a 4 lane? Don't hurt me for the car analogy. redface.gif
     
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post #9 of 55
Gotta love IBM!
post #10 of 55
don't they have these all planned out for 2019?
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