NEC and the Tokyo Institute of Technology are claiming they have developed technology that will allow supercomputers to breach 10 Petaflops. Apparently, they have laid the groundwork using a network of optical interconnections between nests of chips. The optical interconnects allow systems to perform chip-to-chip communication at 25 Gbps [No mention of latency].
The prototype converts electrical signals into optical signals using laser diodes, says our man at the Nikkei, and its connector bundles 1,000 fibres together to bring together the worlds most powerful aggregation of neighbouring chips.
The Japanese government says it could be ready by 2010. Will this technology power the next Earth Simulator, or is this simply a pipe dream? Frankly, its probably too early to tell. In the mean time, read the full article here.