The first ever computer invented occupied a complete room, weighed some around 30 tons and used electricity sufficient to run a small town, but now a more advanced computer hardly requires your lap / palm (laptops/Palmtops)!!!
But when we talk about supercomputers …they still need a complete room space to work with some gigs of Ram and some tera/petabytes of HDD.
But here comes the day when it even these giants are going to become portable in the form of usual laptops, and who knows in few years(or may be months) they’ll be in our palms too !!!
IBM…has taken its first and a powerful step towards this goal.
The basic difference between a normal home PC and a supercomputer is the rate of flow of information within the system. And to remove this barrier a remedy was always there: - Substitute light connectivity for copper (or any metal) connections. The use of optical instead of electrical signals for transferring data results in significant performance enhancements since light signals carry more information – faster and cheaper.
The problem so far has been of size, because devices for converting electricity to pulses of light were simply too big to integrate optimally inside a chip. But now IBM has succeeded in building a converter which is far smaller than any previously demonstrated, thus promising to shrink the size of present day electronic chips and simultaneously increasing their speed to hundreds of times.
But why do we need all this? Well the answer is are you satisfied with your PC, or do you want to meet its DADDY. Besides speed it saves a lot of power as it consumes just ONE-TENTH of the power as compared to the present personal computers. And most importantly, portable supercomputers would mean research institutions could have easier access to their data, with minimum investment of money and time.
So when are you planning to buy one for you?