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

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
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
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
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?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.