The research geeks at IBM may have really done it this time. With technology called silicon nanophotonics they may be able to create a supercomputer that is the size of a standard laptop. I’m no engineer, but here is my understanding of how it works – some of the wires on a typical chip have been replace with pulses of light traveling on optical fibers. The light is obviously quicker, and it is more energy efficient as well. The result is that data transfer between processing cores on a chip can be 100 times faster than it is now while requiring one tenth of the power.
Even a layman like myself can see how this is the same basic technology used in optical fiber applications for the internet, but on a very mini scale. What it can mean, according to IBM, is that a user could eventually have hundreds or thousands of cores on a single chip. That could have endless powerful applications, but just think of the games you could play.