Archive for the 'IBM' Category

Computer from 1970 on Dragnet

OMG is this old stuff

And so it begins…. The Era of Light Computers

I knew about 20 years ago that someone was going to make a computer that worked with fiber optics or light. Looks like IBM did it. And it should have been my first guess now that I think about it.

IBM Researchers Create Device Which Uses Light for Communication Between Computer Chips

IBM scientists unveiled a significant step towards replacing electrical signals that communicate via copper wires between computer chips with tiny silicon circuits that communicate using pulses of light. As reported in the recent issue of the scientific journal Nature, this is an important advancement in changing the way computer chips talk to each other.

The device, called a nanophotonic avalanche photodetector, is the fastest of its kind and could enable breakthroughs in energy-efficient computing that can have significant implications for the future of electronics.

The IBM device explores the avalanche effect in Germanium, a material currently used in production of microprocessor chips. Analogous to a snow avalanche on a steep mountain slope, an incoming light pulse initially frees just a few charge carriers which in turn free others until the original signal is amplified many times. Conventional avalanche photodetectors are not able to detect fast optical signals because the avalanche builds slowly.

The avalanche photodetector demonstrated by IBM is the worlds fastest device of its kind. It can receive optical information signals at 40Gbps (billion bits per second) and simultaneously multiply them tenfold. Moreover, the device operates with just a 1.5V voltage supply, 20 times smaller than previous demonstrations. Thus many of these tiny communication devices could potentially be powered by just a small AA-size battery, while traditional avalanche photodetectors require 20-30V power supplies.

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