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At the speed of light!
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Written by Daniel   
Monday, 18 September 2006 12:06
A chip that transfers data using laser light
By John Markoff
The New York Times
Published: September 17, 2006, 10:45 PM PDT
C/Net 

Researchers plan to announce on Monday that they have created a silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams. The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, removing the most significant bottleneck in computer design.

As a result, chipmakers may be able to put the high-speed data communications industry on the same curve of increased processing speed and diminishing costs--the phenomenon known as Moore's law--that has driven the computer industry for the last four decades.

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 shake up both the communications and computer industries.

Lasers are already used to transmit high volumes of computer data over longer distances--for example, between offices, cities and across oceans--using fiber optic cables. But in computer chips, data moves at great speed over the wires inside, then slows to a snail's pace when it is sent chip-to-chip inside a computer....Much more...

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