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Thursday, March 23, 2006

 

Laser chips could power petaflop computers

`Laser communications chips capable of pumping data through the veins of gargantuan “petaflop” supercomputers have been demonstrated by NEC in Japan.

The communications chips can transfer information through optical fibres at a blistering 25 gigabits per second (a gigabit is a billion bits). This is a record for such components, according to NEC, and is many times faster that the purely electronic interconnects used in today’s supercomputers.

Communications chips can convert electronic signals into optical ones. Using optical fibres to relay data between the chips is what may give this type of supercomputer the edge over previous ones using processors connected electronically.’




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