Intel touts 50Gbps silicon optics

By building ultra-fast laser circuits into standard silicon circuits, Intel says it can revolutionize affordable data communications across IT.

Shown are Intel's 50Gbps silicon laser transmitter and optical receiver connected by a standard fiber.
Shown are Intel's 50Gbps silicon laser transmitter and optical receiver connected by a standard fiber. Intel

Intel has unveiled the prototype of a high-speed fiber-optic data system based on silicon chips with integrated lasers and detectors. The system runs at 50Gbps, with Intel claiming future scalability to 1Tbps and beyond.

Unlike current systems, Intel's prototype does not depend on discrete components to generate and detect light; instead, these are part of the same silicon substrate that contains other components, and can be made at the same time on the same dies during chip fabrication.

"It's about bringing silicon manufacturing to optical communications, bringing Moore's Law to high-bandwidth communications for every computing platform, and revolutionizing applications in the future," said Mario Paniccia, Intel fellow and director of Intel's Photonics Technology lab.

Read more of Intel shows off ultra-fast silicon optical network at ZDNet UK.

 

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