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IBM develops super speed communications technology

IBM has prototyped a technology that will vastly increase Internet speeds, but at very low power. The device enables the transfer of Big Data at 200 to 400 Gigabits per second (Gb/s), four times faster than current speeds.


IBM has prototyped a technology that will vastly increase Internet speeds, but at very low power. The device enables the transfer of Big Data at 200 to 400 Gigabits per second (Gb/s), four times faster than current speeds.

To put the speeds in context, at 160 Gb/s, a two-hour, 4k ultra-high definition movie, or 40,000 songs, could be downloaded in a few seconds. The device was demonstrated at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.

The technology is the result of research between scientists at IBM Research and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne who have been developing ultra-fast and energy efficient analog-to-digital converter (ADC) technology for long distance fibre channels.

The technology is only a lab prototype at this stage, but a previous version of the design has been licensed to Semtech Corporation. The company is using the technology to develop advanced communications platforms expected to be announced later this year.

IBM points out that as Big Data and Internet traffic continues to grow exponentially, future networking standards have to support higher data rates. For example, in 1992, 100 Gigabyte of data was transferred per day, whereas today, traffic has grown to two Exabytes per day, a 20 million fold increase.

To read the full IBM press release and how the ADC technology is being used to convert signals from the Big Bang, click here.


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