Laser Beams to Replace Wires?

Your computer would be faster if it ran its data over light comparing to wires. So, let’s use light! That’s what Intel has done in conjunction with UC Santa Barbara. This was featured on NPR news yesterday.

Intel, UC Santa Barbara announce laser chip breakthrough

“Intel Corp. said Monday that researchers from the company and from the University of California, Santa Barbara, have jointly built the world’s first electrically powered hybrid silicon laser using standard silicon manufacturing processes. Santa Clara-based Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) said the development ‘addresses one of the last major barriers to producing low-cost, high-bandwidth silicon photonics devices for use inside and around future computers and data centers.’ Intel said researchers were able to combine light-emitting properties of indium phosphide with light-routing capabilities of silicon into a single hybrid chip. When voltage is applied, light generated in the idium phosphide enters the silicon waveguide to create a continuous laser beam that can be used to drive other silicon photonic devices. Intel said a laser based on silicon could drive wider use of photonics in computers because the cost can be greatly reduced by using high-volume silicon manufacturing techniques.”

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