Linked by fran on Tue 24th Aug 2010 22:09 UTC
Intel "Intel Corporation announced an important advance in the quest to use light beams to replace the use of electrons to carry data in and around computers. The company has developed a research prototype representing the world's first silicon-based optical data connection with integrated lasers. The link can move data over longer distances and many times faster than today's copper technology; up to 50 gigabits of data per second. This is the equivalent of an entire HD movie being transmitted each second."
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RE: Not impressed
by ndrw on Wed 25th Aug 2010 05:53 UTC in reply to "Not impressed"
ndrw
Member since:
2009-06-30

The only thing new here is that it's being done all on one chip with integrated lasers and multiplexing at 12.5 Gbps per channel.


That's a huge difference. It's a completely different application with very different requirements (most importantly power consumption and very short range).

As far as networking goes, people are now trying to use 100Gb/s long haul connections and probably even faster links at shorter distances. But these solutions (because of optics and power dissipation) are not suitable for integration on a single chip.

OTOH, Intel's chip has to compete with traditional wire-line transmission, which can now achieve similar performance (10Gb/s is standard, ~30Gb/s is in development) and don't require special process and package solutions. Electrical solutions typically are limited to a several tens of IO channels per chip (require several "pads" per channel for building a transmission line) and this (plus larger range) is where optical solution could potentially have an advantage.

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