New IBM Chip Can Download 500 HD Movies per Second

Using standard chip making parts, IBM has created a super-fast optical processing chip by drilling a series of holes through the back which allow light to pass into the core of the chip. 

What's the Latest Development?


By drilling 48 tiny holes into a standard chip, IBM has created an innovative design capable of transferring one terabit of information per second. Called the Holey Optochip, the chip has the ability to download 500 HD movies per second and could bring optical processing, which until now has been used mostly for long-distance telecommunications, to today's supercomputers, greatly improving the bandwidth between individual processors. IBM Optical Links Group manager Clint Schow said the chip will be used for rack-to-rack interconnects within supercomputers.

What's the Big Idea?

The Holey Optochip is IBM's second big announcement in as many weeks. Previously, the company publicized its creation of a single-atom processor for a quantum computer. While impressive, quantum computers remain theoretical whereas the Holey Optochip was created out of standard chip parts, meaning that it could make its way to market rather quickly. "Although IBM itself won't be mass-producing the chips, Schow said they could become commercially available within a year or two. Price points could be in the $100 to $200 range."

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Elizabeth Warren's plan to forgive student loan debt could lead to an economic boom

A plan to forgive almost a trillion dollars in debt would solve the student loan debt crisis, but can it work?

Photo credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren has just proposed a bold education reform plan that would forgive billions in student debt.
  • The plan would forgive the debt held by more than 30 million Americans.
  • The debt forgiveness program is one part of a larger program to make higher education more accessible.
Keep reading Show less

Banned books: 10 of the most-challenged books in America

America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.

Nazis burn books on a huge bonfire of 'anti-German' literature in the Opernplatz, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
  • Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
  • Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
Keep reading Show less

Supreme Court to hear 3 cases on LGBT workplace discrimination

In most states, LGBTQ Americans have no legal protections against discrimination in the workplace.

(Photo by Andres Pantoja/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The Supreme Court will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also applies to gay and transgender people.
  • The court, which currently has a probable conservative majority, will likely decide on the cases in 2020.
  • Only 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws effectively extending the Civil Rights of 1964 to gay and transgender people.
Keep reading Show less