What's New: Laptop-Sized Supercomputers

Today IBM announced a huge leap in processor technology, dubbed nanophotonics, that could allow modern supercomputers to shrink to the size of a laptop. Nanophotonics uses tiny optical fibers to transfer data between cores of a CPU up to 100 times faster than wires, using one-tenth the power. Similar to fiber optics, the technology is designed for ultra-high speeds over distances of a few centimeters. IBM scientists believe this will allow "hundreds or thousands" of cores on a CPU, whereas current CPU technology is generally limited to sixteen or less. On the down side, IBM believes nanophotonic technology can be incorporated into CPUs with ten to twelve years.

Thursday, Dec 6, 2007 11:05 am CST

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