Saturday, April 17, 2021

Ready For A Chip With a Thousand Cores?

Mass market CPUs have reached the four-core stage, and there are 64-core and 80-core processors in labs right now, but for IBM, that’s still not enough. Big Blue has designs on a processor with a whopping 1,000 (or more) cores. But don’t get any purchase orders ready; this is a long-term effort that might take as long as 15 years to complete.

The breakthrough, published by a group of IBM researchers in the journal Optics Express, details how IBM used optical interconnects between CPU cores instead of copper wires to transmit data between the cores through pulses of light rather than electrical charges.

Yurii A. Vlasov, a research scientist at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center and co-author of the paper, said it’s not so much how fast you transmit the data but the power you have to burn to transmit it.

“When you transmit power over wires, there is some voltage, which causes chips to be hot. That is one of the problems with the ability of conventional CMOS (define) chips to scale performance without overheating. One of the ways to solve this problem is to use optics, where the power required to produce a pulse of light is less than it is to push a bit over a wire,” Vlasov told InternetNews.com.

The technology — known as a silicon Mach-Zehnder electro-optic modulator — is 100 to 1,000 times smaller in than any previously demonstrated modulators of its kind, which could allow for complete optical routing networks to be integrated onto a single chip.

By replacing the copper wires that connect the cores with pulses of light, IBM estimates information can be transferred 100 times faster and use 10 times less power. The modulator converts the digital signal into a series of light pulses and then back to digital again on the other end of the transmission.

This article was first published on InternetNews.com. To read the full article, click here.

Similar articles

Latest Articles

IT Planning During a...

Without a doubt, 2020 changed everything. I like to compare it to a science fiction movie where time travel is involved. Clearly, we have...

Best Data Quality Tools...

Data quality is a critical issue in today’s data centers. The complexity of the Cloud continues to grow, leading to an increasing need for...

NVIDIA’s New Grace ARM/GPU...

This week is NVIDIA’s GTC, or GPU Technology Conference, and they likely should have changed the name to ATC because this year – it...

What is Data Segmentation?

Definition of Data Segmentation Data segmentation is the process of grouping your data into at least two subsets, although more separations may be necessary on...