Feeds

Intel trumpets world's fastest silicon photonic detector*

*Ladybird not included

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect: Pocket Android desktop
Ultrathin client with a lot of baggage. The upside? It's a rogue sysadmin's delight
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.