A new IBM chip-making technology has the potential to dramatically increase the memory capacity and processing speeds of chips used in routers and switches that support fiber-optic and wireless networks. The idea is to offer manufacturers and service providers the ability to handle the data deluge driven by smart phones and other Web-connected devices, IBM stated.
IBM says the new chip process known as Cu-32 is some 15% faster than its current process and can result in the following:
- A Cellular infrastructure that can move one year's worth of text messages (six trillion, worldwide in 2010) in less than ten seconds
- A consumer downloading a feature-length film on a smart phone in less than ten seconds; or a HD version in under a minute
- Routers that can stream every motion picture ever produced in less than one minute
IBM says a suite of new high-speed serial cores give Cu-32 chips the ability to network with more than a dozen different interface standards. These cores were developed to provide jitter performance and equalization support for enhanced system performance with the lowest possible bit error ratio.
Cu-32 offers the industry's first set of HSS cores in 32nm SOI technology including a 15G Backplane core supporting 16G Fibre Channel standard and a 15G Chip-to-Chip core supporting low-power optical and chip-to-chip applications.
Te need for such technology is obvious, IBM says: "The number of people using the internet has doubled in the past five years, with two billion logging-on in 2010. Smart phones, game consoles, digital TVs, GPS devices and MP3 players are among the consumer gadgets that now ride the internet. As the world's infrastructure gets further digitized, connected and monitored, vast arrays of machine-to-machine sensors are also beginning to use the internet to transmit data on commuter traffic, buildings' energy usage or the health of newborn infants, for example. Manufacturers of communications infrastructure will increasingly need breakthrough semiconductor technologies such as Cu-32 to keep up with the demand to secure, store and move an ever-growing amount of web traffic."
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