Feeds

Big Blue touts superfast analogue-digital converter

SKA-inspired project could reach into your smartphone

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

We’re nowhere near the limits of optical fibre capacity: the bottlenecks exist in the electronics that connects to the fibre. One part of this is the analogue to digital converter (ADC) and IBM is touting a prototype that it says could deliver a billion conversions per second.

The company says its technology doubles current ADC conversion rates, and could be commercially available by 2014. The work is actually being undertaken as part of Big Blue’s collaboration with ASTRON (the Netherlands’ Institute for Radio Astronomy) to develop technologies for the Square Kilometre Array telescope project.

Its goal is to produce a high-speed, energy efficient ADC for the thousands of antennas to be deployed under the SKA project.

However, it also notes that ADCs are a key component in optical communications, and says the technology would enable 100 Gbps communications (The Register suspects this must refer to a single channel, since labs have demonstrated multi-Petabit communications).

IBM's high-speed ADC prototype

IBM researcher Lucas Kull shows off the prototype ADC wafer

The 8-bit SAR (successive approximation register) ADC fits on 22 x 70 microns, and consumes just 3.1 milliwatts when operating at a billion conversions a second. This combination of small size and high performance makes it suitable for fabricating alongside processing elements, IBM says.

Big Blue adds that small, efficient ADCs would have applications reaching all the way down to smartphones, which have as many as ten ADCs to deal with their various sensors.

“This is IBM’s first attempt at designing a new ADC that leverages a standard CMOS logic process, not only resulting in the most efficient ADC in its class, but also opening the possibility to add massive computation power for signal analysis on the same chip with the ADC,” according to Dr Martin Schmatz of IBM Research.

The chip was presented to the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) on February 20. Its original release is translated from the German here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.