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IBM's New Super Chip May Be Good News for HD

IBM this week said it has invented a computer chip with enough power to download an HD motion picture within one second (compared to an estimated 25-40 minutes on most broadband connections, and sometimes much longer).

The prototype chip has the ability to transport data at speeds of up to 160 GB in a single second, IBM said, with the new chip on the threshold of starting "a new era of high-speed connectivity that will transform communications, computing and entertainment."

The technological breakthrough uses what IBM calls "optical networking," which the company said vastly improves data transfer rates by the use of light pulses (photons)--instead of the traditional mode of sending electrons via wires, according to United Press International.

IBM scientists at the firm's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y, developed the new chip's optical transceiver technology.