Articles about photonics

Fiber optic cable for fast internet - laying cable in residential area

CableLabs' many hands make light work – at four terabits per second

Boffins at CableLabs, the cable TV network operators' pet research house, have turned out two fresh photonic standards: the P2P Coherent Optics Architecture Specification; and the P2P Coherent Optics Physical Layer v1.0 Specification. Principal Architect Matt Schmitt blogged that the new efforts are all about bandwidth – in …
Twisted light image - University of Rochester

Boffins shrink light-twister to silicon scale, multiply bandwidth 10x

We've known for some time that the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light (colloquially known as “twisted light”) can be modulated to carry information, but until now, it's only been demonstrated on large-scale laboratory lasers. That's changed with work from the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Polytechnic …
photonic chip

Boffins unwrap bargain-basement processor that talks light and current

Christmas is a time of miracles, to paraphrase Hans Gruber, and US researchers claim to have pulled off one in silicon photonics: they say they've mainlined super-fast optic communications into a RISC CPU using cheap, bog-standard manufacturing techniques. Chips using light to shunt data around a processor and to and from its …
Iain Thomson, 24 Dec 2015
Duke University's quantum 90GHz light emitter

Just a quickie, then: Boffins' 11 picosecond spontaneous emission

Boffins from Duke University reckon they've cracked one of the problems that holds back optical computing, with a tiny and very low-powered high-speed-switchable light source. Silicon photonics is making strides to replace copper for communications between chips – both Intel and IBM are on the bandwagon. However, within the …
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

It's curtains for you, copper: IBM boffins push the LIGHT FANTASTIC

IBM last month claimed a breakthrough in photonics – the practice of using light pulses rather than electrons to quickly send signals in chips. Big Blue claimed its boffins had successfully designed and tested a fully integrated wavelength multiplexed silicon photonics chip which would be capable of turning out 100Gbps optical …
Dave Wilby, 15 Jun 2015
Oxford University's multi-gigabit visible light comms demo

Lightbulb moment for visible light networking: 200 Gbps without a fibre

If you think the multi-gigabit per second performance promised by WiFi communications is hot, think again: research out of Oxford University is claiming 100 Gbps and beyond in homes using free-space optics. The research, led by photonics engineer Dominic O'Brien, uses a base station to communicate with computers using light …

Singapore plots photonic future with new research institute

Singapore is to boost its footprint in photonics research, slinging $SGD80 million (USD$64 million) at a collaboration between the Nanyang Technical University (NTU) and the UK's University of Southampton. The University of Southampton says the NTU's new Photonics Institute will conduct work from basic research up to …
UCSD's 500 GHz optical switch schematic

Three photons can switch an optical beam at 500 GHz

American photonics researchers have demonstrated an all-optical switching rig that can work at 500 GHz, controlling a beam using just three photons. High-speed switching in the optical domain is important for several reasons: it will let optical networks outperform anything that can be accomplished if the photonic signal has …
NIST's one-way photonic metamaterial

NIST shows off one-way photon-passing metamaterial

If photonics is ever to displace or supplement electronics in microprocessors, the operations we perform on electrons need to be replicated on photons. A group at NIST is the latest to demonstrate a photonic diode – a device that passes light in one direction only, similarly to how diodes pass electrons in one direction only. …
The CUDOS silicon waveguide

Soliton makes its way across silicon in CUDOS experiment

On-chip photonic interconnects are a step closer, with a successful demonstration of soliton compression in silicon from Australia's CUDOS research centre. In a Nature Communications report, a team from CUDOS demonstrates that solitons can be both observed and harnessed in silicon-based photonic systems. Solitons in fibre …

Boffins create bulk-process on-silicon optics

A group of researchers from MIT and the University of Boulder at Colorado say they've moved photonics a step closer to integration with both microprocessors and memory. On-chip photonics offer a number of attractive prospects for chip-makers. Photonic communications generate less heat than electrons moving through copper, and …

Boffins flip optics to make booster-free superfast fibre

A group of researchers led by a Monash Univeristy PhD student has demonstrated an all-optical technique for dealing with nonlinearity – something that considerably boosts the throughput of an optical system. The demonstration is important for two reasons. One is that fibre optic cables used to transport signals over long …

Twisted photons get another spin

The principle that led to the controversy over “twisted radio waves” in 2012, known as orbital angular momentum, has also been applied to light for some time, but most demonstrations have been in free space. A new experiment published in Science has successfully “twisted” a photonic beam in a fibre, using it to transport data …

Boffins light way to photonic computing with 1PB DVD tech

Successive generations of optical media generally rely on a new laser and a medium capable of responding to the new laser's qualities. And so it is with a new piece of research, titled Three-dimensional deep sub-diffraction optical beam lithography with 9nm feature size [PDF], revealed today that it may one day be possible to …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2013

Intel demos inexpensive 100Gb/sec silicon photonics chip

Intel has demoed what it says it "believes" is the world's only silicon photonics module that uses a hybrid silicon laser – a breakthrough that should allow such advances as vastly improved system-to-system interconnects in the data center. The demo of the 100Gb/sec module was presented via a video during Intel CTO Justin …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Flash to the future: Memristors, photonics, MLC-y tsunami

For a non-volatile storage medium flash development sure is volatile, as attendees at a distributor conference found out. Aaron Rakers, managing director of analysts Stifel Nicolaus, attended the conference and sent out a despatch from it that contained a mouth-watering array of tit-bits. The distributor had suppliers of …
Chris Mellor, 3 Apr 2013

Want faster fibre? Get rid of the glass

One of the most irritating expressions people can use, “broadband at the speed of light”, is a little closer to coming true thanks to researchers from the University of Southampton, who have demonstrated air-filled fibres with propagation happening at 99.7 percent of c. In a conventional fibre, the glass acts as a waveguide: …
Stacking up chips to make tiny Daleks for the data center

Big Blue etches silicon nanophotonics with regular chip tech

The path to exascale supercomputing computing is going to require the development of a number of technologies, and one of them is the shift from copper to optical signaling between chips in a complex of computing and memory. And IBM thinks it is going to have an edge in this effort now that it has cooked up photonics components …

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