Feeds

Paint-on lasers set to rescue silicon

Smashing the bottleneck

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Researchers have said they can rescue silicon from the interconnect bottleneck that is set to put the kybosh on increases in number-crunching pace by 2010. A 'paint-on' laser will make it possible for chips to use optical communication to remove the logjam, say a team from the University of Toronto.

Their innovation, published in the journal Optics Express, uses a suspension of colloidal quantum dots, which are tiny particles of semiconductor. These nanocrystals made the blue laser source used for blu-ray DVD possible.

The Toronto team are the first to make a colloidal quantum dot laser produce invisible infrared light.

This is the wavelength used to carry information in fibre optics. Main author of the report Sjoerd Hoogland told Science Blog: "We made our particles just the right size to generate laser light at exactly this wavelength."

Integrating current bulky laser technology onto chips would be impossible, but the paint-on nanocrystal lasers could be powered by the electronics already on microchips, massively speeding up the links between microprocessor units.

It was a breeze to manufacture too. Hoogland said: "I made the laser by dipping a miniature glass tube in the paint and then drying it with a hairdryer."

The prospect is of a reprieve for the microchip industry in its current form. Other technologies like quantum computing and single-molecule processors are set to take over from silicon eventually.

Tackle the report for yourself here

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.