IBM employs nanotechnology to manage big data

11 December 2012

Posted by Satvir Bhullar

Technology giant IBM has announced the launch of a breakthrough that uses nanotechnology to manage digital information in a new way.

The company has revealed that it has employed "silicon nanophotonics" in microchip manufacturing in order to use light pulses to move big data at "blazing speeds".

Following more than ten years of research, IBM stated that silicon nanophotonics could be widely used to reduce bandwidth limitations associated with supercomputers, data centres and servers, with the latest breakthrough moving it towards the development of commercial applications.

Using light rather than electrical signals for the transmission of digital information provides a faster way to move large volumes of data between computer chips and reduces traffic congestion.

With the era of big data, demand is growing to move terabytes of information and IBM has solved key challenges relating to the commercialization of silicon nanophotonics technology through the use of processing modules.

Dr John E Kelly, IBM Research Senior Vice-President and Director, commented that the latest development "allows us to move silicon nanophotonics technology into a real-world manufacturing environment that will have impact across a range of applications".

Nanotechnology has applications in an array of different industries and a recent medical breakthrough in the US used the science in order to develop a possible new treatment for children with cancer.

Scientists from the University of Delaware have used nanoscience to create a new means of drug delivery for the treatment of chemotherapy to children with leukaemia in a way that maintains healthy cells while targeting cancer cells.

The mode of delivery was found to reduce side effects from treatment significantly, improve survival rates and enhance quality of live in mice receiving anti-cancer drugs.

According to the researchers, existing methods of treating leukaemia in children are very effective and affordable, but also toxic, so that targeted ways of delivering them directly to cancer cells are required.

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