"BM demonstrated a new chipset Monday that can download a high-definition movie in a single second, compared with the current time of 30 minutes or more.
The company said its optical-transceiver chipset transfers information eight times as fast as currently available components. Such high speeds would have a significant impact on the way people share and access media and information, from video to music to corporate financial data.
The new chipset, which sends data at 160 gigabits - or 160 billion bits of information a second - was unveiled at the Optical Fiber Conference in Anaheim. IBM did not release a target date for the chipset to be introduced inside a real-world product.
Optical networking speeds up communication by sending data as light pulses, instead of the traditional method of sending electrons over wires.
"The explosion in the amount of data being transferred, when downloading movies, TV shows, music or photos, is creating demand for greater bandwidth and higher speeds in connectivity," T.C. Chen, vice president of science and technology at IBM Research, said in a statement. "Greater use of optical communications is needed to address this issue. We believe our optical-transceiver technology may provide the answer."