Posted by: Aba Cohen | December 1, 2010

Exascale computing

text in English


IBM has announced this Wednesday, 01 December 2010, the success of a technological breakthrough to speed up computation toward the EXASCALE (EXA=1018, that means a billion biillion = quintillion, which in computer terms corresponds to 1018 logical operations per second). The new chip is based on the CMOS (English  acronym: Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics, operating at the same time electrical and optical signals, respectively. More impressive is the integration density that, besides the 1000X speed factor (the former technology was in the petascale = 1015 logical operations per second), permits a 10X reduction in the devices volumes, giving an improvement factor of 10,000 in the ratio of speed/volume.

CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics chip – Image courtesy of IBM Research

The exascale, using the nanophotonics technology opens new ways to validate Moore’s Law, which estimates a 2x factor in the efficiency of commercial computers every 18 months. The next step, beyond the nanometer range, will be a problem for the computer industry as we reach the scale of the atom, a threshold that will lead us to a new paradigm in computer science: the Quantum Computation. when terms as “entangled states” and “qubits” will dominate.


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