IBM drills 49 holes in CMOS chip

Biggish blue scientists have come up with a novel way of changing a CMOS chip so that it can transfer a terabit of data per second.

It looks to us that frustrated that things were not going so well at the labs, one of Big Blues researchers decided to drill 48 tiny holes drilled into a standard CMOS chip. In his rage he thought “yeah that will put a bit of light in you”.

Fortunately his rage against the machine appears to have worked. It did help the movement of light and create faster and more power-efficient than today’s optics.

Dubbed the “Holey Optochip” technology could enhance the power of supercomputers and create a new market for very small drills at B&Q.

Optical chips are found in IBM systems such as Power 775 and Blue Gene. Generally they are better for transmitting high-bandwidth data over longer distances.

IBM Optical Links Group manager Clint Schow told Ars Technica that optical technology has become more viable in smaller settings and it was making its way deeper into the system and getting closer and closer to the actual processor.

With the Holey Optochip, Schow said IBM wanted to target is the bandwidth that interconnects different processors in the system, not the processor talking to its memory, but a processor talking to another processor in a large parallel system.”

Holey Optochip uses 4.7 watts and can download 500 HD movies in a second it is also jolly small at 5.2 mm by 5.8 mm.

Drilling holes into the chip let IBM use industry-standard, 850-nanometer vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSEL), and photodiode arrays, both soldered on to the chip. The holes allow optical access through the back of the chip to the transmitter and receiver channels, making it more compact. It also makes the cheese more interesting,