Feeds

Intel trumpets world's fastest silicon photonic detector*

*Ladybird not included

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Intel researchers are claiming "world record" performance with their latest push in silicon photonics — or chips with friggin' laser beams.

The vendor published results from a new silicon-based photodetector, which uses light pulses to make stupidly fast connections rather than more conventional (and slower) electrical interconnects.

A team lead by Intel researchers created a silicon-based Avalanche Photodetector (APD), a fancy bit of atom-wrangling in a light sensor that can amplify weak signals directed on to silicon. The research was (naturally) published in the trade journal Nature Photonics

Intel said it uses standard silicon and CMOS processing to achieve a "gain-bandwidth product" of 340 GHz. That figure is the best result ever measured for a APD performance metric, the company claims.

"This opens the door to lower the cost of optical links running at data rates of 40Gbps or higher and proves, for the first time, that a silicon photonics device can exceed performance of a device made with traditional, more expensive optical materials such as indium phosphide," said Intel.

Chipzilla expects affordable photonic kit to play a major role in its schemes to cram 10's, even 100's of cores into future processors. All the compute capability Intel is dreaming up will require speedy links, and using standard fabbing technology may help bring volume economics to optical communication.

Other companies like Sun Microsystems and IBM are also hard at work to chip the light fantastic with less exotic materials, although the work is still in the early stages.

The research was jointly funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), with manufacturing and process aide from the memory firm, Numonyx.

Intel has provided a handy Flash animation to explain how the APD detects and amplifies optical signals.

There's also publicity shot of a ladybird/ladybug crawling across the experimental chip. Someone apparently made this insect a unit of measurement without telling us.

We approve wholeheartedly and hope it becomes standard by the time silicon optical on-chip interconnects may actually show up in kit five or ten years down the road. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.