IBM Promises Silicon Integrated Nanophotonics technology can combine traditional electrical circuits and optical components

IBM says that it can now build a "silicon nanophotonics" chip in a sub-100 nm manufacturing process.

The company promises its 90 nm Silicon Integrated Nanophotonics technology can combine traditional electrical circuits and optical components, including a photodetector and a modulator.

IBM believes that the technology will especially benefit the data processing needs in servers, large datacenters, and supercomputers by increasing data transfer speeds. "This technology breakthrough is a result of more than a decade of pioneering research at IBM," said John Kelly, Director of IBM Research. "This allows us to move silicon nanophotonics technology into a real-world manufacturing environment that will have impact across a range of applications."

The company claims that the CMOS nanophotonics technology can exceed a bandwidth of 25 Gbps per channel. It can also multiplex large data streams at high data rates, IBM said.The company said that applications such as big data require requires systems to process and analyze huge volumes of information in real-time and therefore builds the case for silicon nanophotonics as it can move terabytes of data via pulses of light through optical fibers.