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MIT Creates World's First Computer-Ready Germanium Laser
Hardware
Written by Daniel   
Friday, 05 February 2010 19:19

From Daily Tech

A new type of germanium laser may bring about the fastest room temperature computer communications yet.

Germanium is a versatile transition metal that is found in zinc-copper-lead ore bodies and coal. Germanium is used to create special semiconductors and tunable terahertz lasers. 
Lasers could be used for faster bus between CPU and memory



Recent advances in processor technology have lead to a bottleneck in communication with memory. Trying to overcome this barrier with the currently used method -- smaller, better designed semiconductors -- is impractical due to the higher power necessary to transport data at faster rates. Scientists at MIT believe they may have discovered a way to circumvent this limit -- use germanium lasers to transport data at the speed of light through air.

Researchers at MIT have demonstrated the first germanium laser functional at room temperature that can produce wavelengths of light useful for optical communication. The scientists hope to apply this new technology to the world of processors and begin moving data and (possibly) performing calculations using light instead of electricity.

 

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