Breakthrough in computer chip design eliminates wires in data transmission

Sep 20, 2006

Research slated to appear in the October 2 edition of the Optical Society of America's Optics Express will unveil that researchers have created a new laser-silicon hybrid computer chip that can produce laser beams that will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, removing the most significant bottleneck in computer design.

The development is a result of research at Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Commercializing the new technology may not happen before the end of the decade, but the prospect of being able to place hundreds or thousands of data-carrying light beams on standard industry chips is certain to make waves in both the communications and computer industries.

The paper describes the development of a computer chip that uses indium-phosphide-based lasers rather than electrical wires to transmit data to neighboring computer chips, promising a much higher rate of data transfer than previously possible in practical computing devices.

"This is an important time of change in the field of optics," said Dr. John Bowers, director, Multidisciplinary Optical Switching Technology Center (MOST) and professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "Laying the groundwork for high-volume, fast, high- performance optical devices is crucial. The Hybrid Silicon Laser we describe in our Optics Express article allows lasers to be integrated onto a silicon substrate and paves the way for future optical communications at low cost."

Source: Optical Society of America

Explore further: Team invents microscopic sonic screwdriver

Related Stories

Researchers build new fermion microscope

May 13, 2015

Fermions are the building blocks of matter, interacting in a multitude of permutations to give rise to the elements of the periodic table. Without fermions, the physical world would not exist.

A phone with the ultimate macro feature

Apr 29, 2015

If you thought scanning one of those strange, square QR codes with your phone was somewhat advanced, hold on to your seat. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have recently developed ...

Recommended for you

Researchers prove magnetism can control heat, sound

May 28, 2015

Phonons—the elemental particles that transmit both heat and sound—have magnetic properties, according to a landmark study supported by Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) services and recently published by ...

How researchers listen for gravitational waves

May 28, 2015

A century ago, Albert Einstein postulated the existence of gravitational waves in his General Theory of Relativity. But until now, these distortions of space-time have remained stubbornly hidden from direct ...

What's fair?: New theory on income inequality

May 27, 2015

The increasing inequality in income and wealth in recent years, together with excessive pay packages of CEOs in the U.S. and abroad, is of growing concern, especially to policy makers. Income inequality was ...

Scientists one step closer to mimicking gamma-ray bursts

May 27, 2015

Using ever more energetic lasers, Lawrence Livermore researchers have produced a record high number of electron-positron pairs, opening exciting opportunities to study extreme astrophysical processes, such ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.