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March 27, 2013

IBM, EPFL develop device to boost online data transfer

The new device can generate one billion analog/digital conversions per second

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM and Switzerland’s École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne’s (EPFL) Microelectronics Systems Laboratory have jointly developed a new analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) which will boost data transfer over the internet.

The new device would allow images, audio, and video to be transferred at faster rates through cyberspace, using less energy.

According to EPFL’s Microelectronics Systems Laboratory director Yusuf Leblebici the new ADC is twice as fast as other existing designs, while it is also the most compact and energy efficient ADC to date. The new device is capable of generating one billion analogue/digital conversions per second, while consuming 3.1 milliwatts (mW) of electricity or thirty times less than a mobile phone on standby mode.

Additionally, the ADC would increase the speed of Internet connections to 100 gigabits per second (Gb/s), thus doubling the existing capacity.

IBM Research Center Systems Department head Martin Schmatz said most ADCs on the market are not designed for the volume of data which is currently being witnessed. "It’s a bit like trying to force the flow of a firehose through a straw," Schmatz said.

The new device, which is expected to be on the market by 2014, would benefit supercomputers, modems, tablets, cellphones, as well as various scientific projects.

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