updated 04:25 pm EST, Fri February 29, 2008
IBM 8Tbps bandwidth
Researchers at IBM have developed a new type of wired connection, one which could enable massive amounts of local bandwidth. The company's "green optical link" merges optical chips and data buses into a single arrangement, and can theoretically deliver data at a colossal 8Tbps -- enough to stream approximately 5,000 HD videos simultaneously. More crucially, the power needed is the same as a 100W lightbulb, dozens of times less than what is needed for an equivalent electrical data connection.
The primary benefit, aside from reducing damage to the environment, will likely be to web servers handling HD content, as they can rapidly pull files out of storage without unduly affecting performance. The new optical links may also find their way into consumer electronics, where they could also enhance the shuttling of HD content, and further enable unique product shapes due to a lack of impedence.