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IBM Optical Chip Moves Data At 1Tbps

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the whooomph-there-it-was dept.

IBM 127

snydeq writes "IBM researchers have developed a prototype optical chip that can transfer data at 1Tbps, the equivalent of downloading 500 high-definition movies, using light pulses, the company said Thursday. The chip, called Holey Optochip, is a parallel optical transceiver consisting of both a transmitter and a receiver, and is designed to handle the large amount of data created and transmitted over corporate and consumer networks as a result of new applications and services. It is expected to power future supercomputer and data center applications, an area where IBM already uses optical technology." User judgecorp links to more coverage, writing "The record was achieved because 24 holes in the chip allow direct access to lasers connected to the chip."

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127 comments

Holey Optochip Batman (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289773)

n/m

Uploads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289781)

What's the equivalent in number of movie uploads?

Re:Uploads? (4, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289863)

10 years in jail I imagine. But think of how fast you could pirate things with the advances in technology when you get out!

Re:Uploads? (1, Insightful)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290083)

10 years in jail seems extreamly low for 500 HD movies.

Re:Uploads? (2)

dsvilko (217134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290535)

Is that 10 jail-years per second?

Re:Uploads? (3, Funny)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39291053)

Yes, or simply 315 569 260 jails.

YIKES! (-1)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289783)

Holy Optochip Batman!

Re:YIKES! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289857)

Holy Useless Post, Nigger!

Re:YIKES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289911)

What makes yours any more useful?

Somewhat on topic, would current storage hardware technology limit the usefulness of the chip's capabilities?

Re:YIKES! (2)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39291619)

no because it would not be used in a machine with disks.
This would be used to link two carrier class routers together. The aggregate traffic on both routers would likely be enough to start using this level of bandwidth.
Also, likely to be used in transoceanic trunks if they can Tx far enough.
-nB

Re:YIKES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39291467)

Ya beat me to it! My first thought: Holy Optochip Batman!

Measuring in HD movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289785)

So they consider a 2 Mbps stream to be HD?

Re:Measuring in HD movies? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290013)

So they consider a 2 Mbps stream to be HD?

Had to cut corners somewhere -- the bill from AT&T would have bankrupted them.

Re:Measuring in HD movies? (4, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290019)

Pssst. 1/500 of 1Tb/s is 2Gb/s not 2Mb/s. I think they are saying you can download 500 movies in 1 second, not the equivilent of streaming continually at 1Tb/s. 1Tb/s just blows my mind.

Re:Measuring in HD movies? (0)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290081)

And, yes I don't see how 2Gb is enough for a movie. Perhaps the press release folks confused bits with bytes?

Re:Measuring in HD movies? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290411)

Was your post joking? You dropped part of the units. The /s was fairly important.

Re:Measuring in HD movies? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290479)

No. No drop of a unit. 2GB is about the size of a typical movie, right? If you need 2GB/s, I want to know what DPI and framerate you are using.

Re:Measuring in HD movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290591)

Not 2GB 2Gb.

Re:Measuring in HD movies? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290781)

That only makes the original objection worse of a problem.

Re:Measuring in HD movies? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39291063)

Not 2GB 2Gb.

Which is why I originally said "And, yes I don't see how 2Gb is enough for a movie. Perhaps the press release folks confused bits with bytes?"

Re:Measuring in HD movies? (3, Funny)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290241)

Great news, they've gotten my porn collection transfer time metric down to three hours fourteen minutes, that's a new record.

Re:Measuring in HD movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39291913)

Oops, good point. So the "simplification" still makes no sense, but in the opposite direction.

What kind of kick-ass compression? (3, Funny)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289787)

1 terabit per second is 128 gigabyte per second - if they can fit 500 HD in 128 GB that compression is to me a much more important breakthrough...

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289799)

Meth.. It workz bitchinz!

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289805)

Yeah, 250MB seems pretty small for a "high-definition movie". Why do they need more capacity than DVD then?

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290111)

To me it sounds more like the data rate of an uncompressed 1080p stream. Perhaps that's what they meant.

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (2)

Gripp (1969738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289991)

my guess is they were talking required streaming rates...? I doubt the author actually thinks a 1Tbps would transfer 500 blue rays in 1 second... (though, you never know..)

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (4, Funny)

Tea-Bone of Brooklyn (828337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290021)

They don't actually say how long it would take. Maybe it's just as cool as downloading 500 HD movies or something. The statement is sort of like "It goes 50,000 MPH, the equivalent of flying to Mars."

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (3, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290627)

They don't actually say how long it would take. Maybe it's just as cool as downloading 500 HD movies or something. The statement is sort of like "It goes 50,000 MPH, the equivalent of flying to Mars."

Yeah, the only way it could possibly be worse is if we perhaps had "MPH", and "MPh", the latter indicating a speed 1/8th as fast, but no one would EVER pay attention to the "typo"...

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (2)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39291229)

I believe the actual statement is "It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs"

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39291347)

You know, the phrase actually makes sense with the context (that was never given in the movie)

quote: [wikia.com]

The Kessel Run was an 18-parsec route used by smugglers to move glitterstim spice from Kessel to an area south of the Si'Klaata Cluster without getting caught by the Imperial ships that were guarding the movement of spice from Kessel's mines.

It took travelers in real space around The Maw leading them to an uninhabitable—but far easier to navigate—area of space called The Pit, which was an asteroid cluster encased in a nebula arm making sensors as well as pilots go virtually blind. Thus there was a high chance that pilots, weary from the long flight through real space, would crash into an asteroid.

So, the idea is that he took a rather large shortcut - "By moving closer to the black holes, Solo managed to cut the distance down to about 11.5 parsecs."

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290023)

Maybe they are streaming them, not copying them in the one second?

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290217)

Well they didn't say how long they were - probably just 10 minute trailers/shorts

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290259)

Add to that the need to define that a transceiver is both a transmitter and a receiver. Really? And all this time I never knew!

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (1)

ESL Atlanta (2586821) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290265)

It's possible that 128GBps buy although it has delay time and can't transfer 500 movies in 1 second. It's totally unbelievable.

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290895)

First of all, this is networking, so they're probably using the standard version of terabit which would be 1000 Gb. Also, it's 1000, not 100. Also, I like your username. Wanna go out?

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290935)

1 terabit per second is 128 gigabyte per second - if they can fit 500 HD in 128 GB that compression is to me a much more important breakthrough...

Dude. Where are you getting 128 from ... 1 TB is 1024 GB

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39291849)

And a byte is 8 bits.

Re:What kind of kick-ass compression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290983)

Your number seems off a bit? 1Tbps is 1000,000,000,000
so isn't it 116GB/s?

Finally airline pilots can rejoice! (2)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289789)

All the kids will be running around with their stupid laser pointers hacking into WoW!

Re:Finally airline pilots can rejoice! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289833)

All the kids will be running around with their stupid laser pointers hacking into WoW!

Maybe we need to revisit Analog Computers - they were fast.

I keep waiting for ... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289801)

Flying Car

Optical Computer

Pay Increase

Not a chance on all three

Re:I keep waiting for ... (2)

Zuriel (1760072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290017)

I keep hearing mention of the flying car, and my response is always the same: have you *seen* how people drive? Do you want these people in the air?

Re:I keep waiting for ... (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290051)

Agreed. That is why I am looking forward to the driverless car. It would be a true revolution and save millions of lives.

Re:I keep waiting for ... (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290133)

Why not? The driverless car may well be the answer. I mean, we've already tried the Carless Driver, but those assholes just ignore the fact that their license is suspended, and keep on smashing up other people's stuff.

Re:I keep waiting for ... (1)

Azure Flash (2440904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290323)

I'm just waiting for the driverless flying car equipped with optical computers.

Re:I keep waiting for ... (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290803)

We already have driverless cars.

That's why a lot of people aren't too keen on flying cars.

Re:I keep waiting for ... (1)

preaction (1526109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290369)

Big sky, lots of room. Big sky, lots of room.

Re:I keep waiting for ... (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290827)

Never underestimate the ability of a suburbanite to mange to consume all available space. They constitute swarms in numbers far smaller than 12.

Holy Optics Batman! (1)

djbckr (673156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289817)

I guess there must be an old Batman and Robin fan on the marketing team. Cool...

Equivalent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289823)

...I'm sure Chris Dodd (MPAA) appreciates data transfer being expressed in the new "downloading HD Movies per second" metric. Perhaps we should call this the Dodd. Hey this new chip is rated at 500 Dodd!

Re:Equivalent... (-1, Troll)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289937)

I for one dont measure connections that way. Piracy is for immoral noobs who feel self entitled to the work of others. No matter how you try to justify it piracy is wrong, even if its legal where you live. If you dont like it make your own content.

Re:Equivalent... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290091)

Piracy is for immoral noobs who feel self entitled to the work of others.

So, record industry CEOs are pirates, too?

Re:Equivalent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290139)

Knew it was a matter of time before the MPAA shill accounts stopped being subtle.

Re:Equivalent... (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290199)

Nobody is forcing you to view their movies.

Re:Equivalent... (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290377)

You are correct sir.
Piracy is all about self entitled pricks. (and some people who are left out because it is not made available.)
Copyright is also about self entitled pricks.
Remember Copyright is a made up right that was invented to promote more copyrightable works specifically to enrich the public domain.
We gave them some protection and they enrich the public domain.
Of course the self entitled pricks now believe nothing should ever enter the public domain but they should still get their made up protections.
I say fuck all self entitled pricks. And their grandchildren.

Re:Equivalent... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290867)

I have fiber in my walls and a big media server.

I can push around 600 movies and it won't be piracy.

1 Tbps (1)

Tooke (1961582) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289831)

I don't watch movies. Could someone get this in terms of LOCs?

Re:1 Tbps (3, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290037)

As of March 2012 it's about 0.00037 LoCs/sec

Re:1 Tbps (1)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290597)

Could someone get this in terms of LOCs?

All of them.

Re:1 Tbps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290845)

A line of code is about 512 bits. You can do the division (I hope!)

640Gbps (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289895)

ought to be enough for anybody.

High Definition Movie the new Library of Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289897)

This is a geek site. You can just say 1 Tbps, and expect the reader to comprehend that without some bullshit hokey metric that doesn't mean anything at all. It's 128gb a second, how the fuck is that 500 "high definition movies"? Maybe 500 HDR light probes.

Does it also save enough electricity to plant 4 trees a day? Does it conserve enough water to wash 400 pairs of boxer shorts? Is it bigger than a breadbox?

This is slashdot, you shouldn't accept shit thats copy and pasted from cnn or foxnews' "technology" sections.

Re:High Definition Movie the new Library of Congre (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290215)

This is a geek site. You can just say 1 Tbps, and expect the reader to comprehend that without some bullshit hokey metric that doesn't mean anything at all. It's 128gb a second, how the fuck is that 500 "high definition movies"?

Perhaps you missed the dozens and dozens of posts above yours, but we get a charge out of poking pedantic holes in this kind of bullshit. In a society where being well-informed, of above average intellegence, or well educated is increasingly equated with being some sort of eliteist snob, this is where we come to seek comradery and refuge and try to resist the rising tide of anti-itellectualism. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go wait for the next article ot appear so I can try to get FIRST POST!

Re:High Definition Movie the new Library of Congre (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290685)

No mod points today, but the parent post summarizes the Internet. +1 insightful.

Re:High Definition Movie the new Library of Congre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39291171)

Some of us miss when this was a site with tech professionals and enthusiasts, and an article like this might have some posts with some actual technical or real world insight. People would talk about how the technology works, speculate on uses for it, relate real world anecdotes, point out potential barriers or problems.

Now every post is just a bunch of unfunny cockwanking attempts at 'humor'. None of it is ever entertaining or funny.

If you think it is funny, go ahead and take that shit with you back to fark when you leave.

Movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289941)

Zillion movies available and nothing worthwhile to watch

Units Fail (1)

smitty97 (995791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39289973)

Please make the units at least comparable. It's bad enough to measure data SIZE in "HD movies" (or LoC's), but then saying its equal to a data RATE without saying how long that might take is just wrong.

Re:Units Fail (1)

dietdew7 (1171613) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290919)

I thought the standard unit of measure for data was Library of Congress.

Now reach your monthly cap (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289975)

in 250ms!

Re:Now reach your monthly cap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39291785)

You must have a much better plan than me. I'd hit my cap in 48ms!

Whoa! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39289977)

At 1Tbps, you could copy my porn collection in only five hours!!!!!

Re:Whoa! (0, Flamebait)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290383)

At 1Tbps, you could copy my porn collection in only five hours!!!!!

That would be great. Over my cable modem it took nearly 2 days. BTW, your girlfriend's birthmark is really cute. Oh, and you should really change your password.

The thud you heard (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290001)

was Chris Dodd dropping after fainting.

alignment (4, Insightful)

phriedom (561200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290009)

How would you like to be the technician who had to align 24 photodiodes and 24 lasers to 48 optical fibers on a 5mm x 5mm die. They should have a picture of that heroic individual in the press release. But no, the PR people are just making up crap about transfer rates.

Re:alignment (2)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290263)

I hope you're being sarcastic. The lasers, diodes and through-silicon vias are aligned using lithography. That heroic individual is a guy sitting in front of a workstation drinking Mountain Dew.

Re:alignment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290631)

Hey, that's me!

Re:alignment (1)

phriedom (561200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39291929)

from TFA: "the holes on the chip allowing optical access to 24 850-nanometre vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSEL) and photodiode arrays flip-chip soldered to the Optochip" so no, the lasers and photodiodes are not part of the holey chip. But that isn't even the alignment I'm talking about, even if those were built into the chip, I think someone still has to align the polished end of the fiber to the diode, unless the diodes are so perfectly aligned to the holes and the holes have good enough tolerances that the holes align the fiber without intervention. That still sound like a non-trivial thing to get right 48 times. Rework would be a bitch. Also, the people who actually make the reticles might drink Mt. Dew, but the people in chip layout and chip finishing drink coffee, thankyouverymuch.

Units? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290063)

I'm guessing they mean 500 HD movies per second? Otherwise, unit math doesn't work out... One measures speed, the other is size.

Also, 250mb per HD movie? I'm guessing they mean YouTube movie or something, because at 720p (2250 kbps), that's only about 15 min of video. Maybe they mean every 10 seconds?

Re:Units? (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290153)

I guess they're all short, art movies.

Great (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290175)

When my ISP rolls this out I'll be able to hit my bandwidth cap in just a few milliseconds.

Re:Great (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290337)

When my ISP rolls this out I'll be able to hit my bandwidth cap in just a few milliseconds.

Well, assuming that you can get the servers out on the web to stream you content at that speed. True, you can simply open more connections to other servers I suppose (BitTorrent style), just remember that downloading implies a server uploading to you ie, it's a two way street.

not Libraries of Congress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290181)

When, exactly, did we go from "Libraries of Congress" to "HD Movies" as a standard measure of data?

Re:not Libraries of Congress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290485)

when people stopped reading and started wasting life watching movies/shows every night

Re:not Libraries of Congress? (1)

trongey (21550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290581)

More importantly, how many of these chips will fit in a Volkswagen Bus?

Moves Data at 1Tbps (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290193)

After RTFA, the Optical chip was all about pushing data from one side of the chip to the other using optics rather than electricity. The 1Tbps is just the throughput rather than any actual processing power. While I don't forsee an actual optical processing chip, where I can see this being useful is to speed up the transfer rates between main memory and the CPU, or possibly even between caches in the CPU. What won't change is how the data is being processed (using electrons). What remains to be seen is whether the cost of converting the light to an electrical signal (for processing and modifying the switches in storage) would be sufficently low enough to make it practical for any personal purpose.

Comcast (0)

slashgrim (1247284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290297)

So now I can reach Comcast's bandwidth cap in in 2 seconds, huzzah!

pRoN (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290313)

let the porn transfer begin lol.

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290393)

I just want to know how expensive production of that single chip is.

Re:hmm (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290477)

The scientists will report on the prototype on Thursday at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference in Los Angeles. IBM aims to improve on the technology for its commercialization in the next decade with the collaboration of manufacturing partners.

let them improve it first and then they should give a price. Until one is already set which i highly doubt.

More jobs will be offshored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39290445)

Lets assume the bandwidth big enough for that

3800 pounds of 3.5in floppy discs every second (2)

Edward Nardella (1503565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290491)

There, that should be an easy comparison.

Holey Optochip? (1)

twistedcubic (577194) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290497)

...as in, "Holey Optochip, Batman! Than was fast!" How creative.

What makes it go faster? (0)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290501)

Speed holes.

here's the press release (4, Informative)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290549)

The linked article sucks. Here it is straight from the horse's mouth.

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/37095.wss [ibm.com]

Re:here's the press release (1)

nameer (706715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39291293)

Or, it would take just around an hour to transfer the entire U.S. Library of Congress web archive through the transceiver.

There we go, a more traditional unit: 1 LoC/h

If Lightfleet wasn't already dead (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290601)

Then it is now. For that matter, that kind of data rate is going to seriously screw with many existing LAN and cluster fabrics - very few are designed to support that kind of on-the-wire rate. You'd need awe-inspiring hardware filtering and buffering to be able to convert between speeds on one side and speeds on the other. (The value would be that you could build one hell of a "fat tree" network if a single fibre is enough to guarantee that the total bandwidth of 20 downstream nodes is equal to the total upstream bandwidth.)

Combine that with this story - a single channel rate of 400 Gbps (512 Gbps including error-correction) over very long distances. (Wikipedia says 128 channels per fibre is available.) [wikipedia.org]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17271797 [bbc.co.uk]

That's 50 terabits per second, multiplexed. Since they're using older, clunkier technology to handle the lasers than this chip, the throughput that is technically possible will logically be much greater -- with the system for doing so being smaller and more energy-efficient.

Re:If Lightfleet wasn't already dead (2)

crgrace (220738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39290735)

The communication channel in the article is very, very different from the single mode fiber 400 Gbps link you give. You can't multiply them together.

The chip in the article is very, very short range and doesn't use heavy-duty signal processing.

The long-distance links are incredibly power-hungry and use a lot of expensive and challenging signal processing.

And which chip had the older, clunkier technology? They use very different technology.

cpu ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39291231)

can they make a cpu out of this tech ?

Need better units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39291629)

How many libraries of congress per fortnight?

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