IBM has announced a scientific breakthrough that could see laptop-sized supercomputers within years, as well as thousand-core processors. What's more, the so-called supercomputers-on-a-chip could use the same energy as a light bulb. The process uses new light technology (silicon nanophotonics) that could eventually be used in domestic computers.
Today's supercomputers suck enough power out the grid to power tens, if not hundreds, of homes. Researchers detailed a significant milestone in IBM's aim to send information between multiple cores on a silicon chip using pulses of light through silicon, instead of electrical signals on 'wires'.