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: Heat makes electrons spin in magnetic superconductors

Related Stories

Glitter cloud may serve as space mirror

Apr 16, 2015

What does glitter have to do with finding stars and planets outside our solar system? Space telescopes may one day make use of glitter-like materials to help take images of new worlds, according to researchers ...

High-power laser spinoff proves versatility is strength

Apr 14, 2015

Since lasers were invented in 1960, they have penetrated countless scientific, industrial and recreational fields: from eye surgery to DVD players, from cutting steel to triggering ignition in missile stages.

Solution-grown nanowires make the best lasers

Apr 13, 2015

Take a material that is a focus of interest in the quest for advanced solar cells. Discover a "freshman chemistry level" technique for growing that material into high-efficiency, ultra-small lasers. The result, ...

Recommended for you

Thinner capsules yield faster implosions

3 hours ago

In National Ignition Facility (NIF) inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments, the fusion fuel implodes at a high speed in reaction to the rapid ablation, or blow-off, of the outer layers of the target ...

Direct visualization of magnetoelectric domains

6 hours ago

A novel microscopy technique called magnetoelectric force microscopy (MeFM) was developed to detect the local cross-coupling between magnetic and electric dipoles. Combined experimental observation and theoretical ...

Upside down and inside out

7 hours ago

Researchers have captured the first 3D video of a living algal embryo turning itself inside out, from a sphere to a mushroom shape and back again. The results could help unravel the mechanical processes at ...

Heat makes electrons spin in magnetic superconductors

Apr 24, 2015

Physicists have shown how heat can be exploited for controlling magnetic properties of matter. The finding helps in the development of more efficient mass memories. The result was published yesterday in Physical Review Le ...

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.