IBM lifts the curtain on "green" file-sharing optical network

Posted by Mark Raby

Yorktown Heights (NY) - IBM today unveiled a prototype of a new technology that it said could send eight terabits of data per second using the power of a 100-watt lightbulb.

The prototype network uses light instead of wires, which IBM says can promote energy efficiency that reaches everything from mobile phones to supercomputers.

"We have built an even faster transceiver and have moved the optical components away from custom devices to more standard parts procured from a volume manufacturer, taking an important step toward commercializing the technology," said IBM researcher Clint Schow who helped with the project.

Named "green optical link", it meets bandwidth requirements for exa-flop supercomputing, and could be most effective for high-intensity applications like HD video streams and medical research.