IBM working on optical transfer of data between cores

According to a post over at Engadget (of all places to find an HPC post), IBM has been busy working on

…a new form of CPU transfer which utilizes pulses of light instead of electricity to move data between cores on a chip. The new technology — which is one-hundred times faster than current speeds — is called silicon nanophotonics, and if implemented, could downsize supercomputers to laptop stature. The invention is unhindered by common problems with electrical chips, such as overheating and breakdown of data on short trips, allowing signals to pass unmolested over greater distances. Using this process, data can be moved a few centimeters, while requiring one-tenth as much power, resulting in lower operational costs for supercomputers.

Timeline for implementation? 10-12 years.

Resource Links: