IBM Sets Big Data Speed Record

This week IBM has announced it has achieved a new data-transmission advancement technology that holds promise for speeding the transfer of Big Data between clouds and data centers via fiber four times faster than current 100 Gb/s technology.

To support the increase in traffic, scientists at IBM Research and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have been developing ultra-fast, energy-efficient, analog-to-digital converter (ADC) technology to enable transmission across long-distance fiber channels. For example, scientists plan to use ADCs to convert the analog radio signals that originate from the cosmos to digital. It’s part of a collaboration called DOME between ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, DOME-South Africa, and IBM to develop a fundamental IT roadmap for the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), an international project to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope.

The 64 GS/s (giga-samples per second) chips for Semtech will be manufactured at IBM’s 300mm fab in East Fishkill, New York in a 32 nanometer silicon-on-insulator CMOS process, with a core area of 5 square millimeters. They will be capable of generating 128 billion analog-to-digital conversions per second, with a total power consumption of 2.1 Watts.

Technical details of the latest ADC were published in a paper with the EPFL, presented last week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC).

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