Computer Chip With Holes Is Speed Demon

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ARMONK, N.Y. (UPI) — U.S. researchers at IBM say they have developed a computer chip that can move a terabit — a trillion bits of information — a second.

The researchers said the speed boost came thanks to unlikely innovation: tiny holes drilled in a quarter-inch computer chip that actually boost data transfer speeds.

Dubbed the “Holey Optochip,” the prototype optical chipset can transfer the equivalent of 500 high-definition movies a second or the entire U.S. Library of Congress Web archive in an hour, CNET.com reported Thursday.

The Holey Optochip is capable of data transfer at up to eight times the speed of current parallel optical components, the company said.

By moving to an optical networking architecture, it said, networks can benefit from the speeds offered by using light pulses rather than electrons sent over wires.

The Holey Optochip module “is constructed with components that are commercially available today, providing the possibility to manufacture at economies of scale,” IBM said.

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