By 2017, HP hopes to build a computer chip that includes 256 microprocessors tied together with beams of light.
Codenamed Corona, this laser-powered contraption would handle ten trillion floating points operations a second. In other words, if you put just five of them together, you’d approach the speed of today’s supercomputers. The chip’s 256 cores would communicate with each other at an astonishing 20 terabytes per second, and they’d talk to memory at 10 terabytes a second. That means it would run memory-intensive applications about two to six times faster than an equivalent chip made with good old fashioned electric wires.
Image: HP Labs