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Intel Announces Lasers On a Chip

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the photonics-awakes dept.

244

wonkavader writes, "The New York Times reports that 'Researchers plan to announce on Monday that they have created a silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams. The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, removing the most significant bottleneck in computer design.' The work is from Intel and the University of California, Santa Barbara. This suggests breakthroughs in both computing performance and networking." From the article: "The breakthrough was achieved by bonding a layer of light-emitting indium phosphide onto the surface of a standard silicon chip etched with special channels that act as light-wave guides. The resulting sandwich has the potential to create on a computer chip hundreds and possibly thousands of tiny, bright lasers that can be switched on and off billions of times a second." Further details in the Intel press release.

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244 comments

Shark implants . . . (5, Funny)

base3 (539820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131328)

. . . to be announced shortly.

Re:Shark implants . . . (2, Informative)

RDW (41497) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131444)

We're already halfway there [usnews.com] . How long can it be before someone makes the frikkin' obvious next development?

Sharks (0, Redundant)

zulater (635326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131336)

Why have the sharks not been fitted with laser beams?

Even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131484)

Why not muthafuckin' sharks with freakin' lasers on a muthafuckin' chip?

Re:Even better (1)

baggins2001 (697667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131655)

I should be shot, I actually get this and thought it was funny.

Hmm... (-1, Redundant)

the phantom (107624) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131337)

Now, if I just had some sharks...

All I wanted (-1, Redundant)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131347)

"Lasers On a Chip"

All I wanted were friggen chips with friggen lasers on them!

Tron (5, Funny)

pythiane (1003082) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131350)

And Tron is yet another step closer to fact.

So, you're saying... (0, Redundant)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131362)

...that we've got lasers on a mutha-f'ing chip?

i want (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131365)

i want my fricken chips with fricken "laser beams"...

About time (5, Interesting)

dorpus (636554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131369)

They've been trying to build optical computing chips since the 1980s. I did a summer internship in Japan in 1990, when they were making custom batches of exotic rare-earth crystals for fiber-optic relay stations.

All posters referencing Austin Powers owe me $1. (1, Funny)

numbski (515011) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131373)

I'm gonna be rich! w00t!

Re:All posters referencing Austin Powers owe me $1 (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131407)

Hence the number of people referencing "SoaP" instead.

Re:All posters referencing Austin Powers owe me $1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131418)

Quick, file a patent on Austin Powers laser beam shark references!

Subdermal Implants (-1, Redundant)

Puggles (126272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131374)

Now, all we must do is implant the small chip into the sharks! A dramatic size and price improvement!

Well, read that one wrong... (-1, Redundant)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131380)

here I was waiting for the numerous obligitory "Frikkin' laser beams!" post and you all went the shark route

Oh well...good thing I didn't join the office pool

What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131382)

snakes on a chip?

There goes the industry . . . (5, Funny)

dmatos (232892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131385)

For blue LEDs used by case modders. Why bother when the chips are flashing all by themselves.

Switching (3, Insightful)

Zebadias (861722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131387)

I think this will be of more use to optical switching - if you have the ability to switch and route on your fibernetwork without changing from optical to electrical and back again you can switch much faster and more efficiently.

Re:Switching (3, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131426)

the laser is still being generated by the chip (and hence, I suspect, by elecrtical), so I don't think that works.

detection (1)

wikdwarlock (570969) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131971)

Another important step would be to incorporate laser detectors to turn that signal back into electrical. Lasers on one side, detectors on the other, and the chips could be chained together. Until then, don't you still need non-solid state detectors?

Go Intel! (3, Funny)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131388)

Great company. Real solid and with great integrity. I'm sure they'll put lasers to great use. Yes, x86 is horrible, but that too will pass.

Re:Go Intel! (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131555)

Yes, x86 is horrible, but that too will pass
That ship has already struck the iceberg. Intel misses [2004] Itanium sales mark by $26.6bn [theregister.co.uk] And you thought your sales projections sucked.

Still around (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131603)

The count of Montecito just flew the castle. Intel is keeping it around. And they have enough money to do whatever they want with Itanium.

Re:Go Intel! (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131826)

Yes, x86 is horrible, but that too will pass.
 
Not as long as MSFT is making the default OS. Heck MSFT can't even get away from the now ~25 year old tech of BIOS and floppy disks. Vista will finally kill the need floppy's but MSFT refuses to fully support EFI. You have to use a bios compatiblity module to boot vista.

Yet Apple is on their second major system architecture change in 15 years. and Linux. Well linux runs on nearly anythng.

Re:Go Intel! (2, Informative)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131899)

Uh, Apple uses Intel. Heard? Also, you don't need floppies for XP. Except for some corner case--you can boot CD's or thumb drives just fine.

Lasers on a plane! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131399)

We got motherfukin lasers on this mutherfukin chip!

What does this do to the FSB-multiplier setup? (3, Interesting)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131400)

Obviously this boosts bandwidth and cuts latency (like mad), but doesn't this kill the current FSB speed and multiplier method? I mean, your clock speed is FSB clock x multiplier, so what happens if you replace the FSB with a laser?

Re:What does this do to the FSB-multiplier setup? (3, Informative)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131471)

nothing, instead of EM pulses propigated by electrically conductive substances, it will be self propigating photons directed by optics.

If I'm reading it right, most of the control could be handled by the same mechanisms, it's just that different signal senders and recievers will need to be used.

And, I thought lasers didn't offer significantly lower latency, only better bandwidth?

Re:What does this do to the FSB-multiplier setup? (2, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131482)

This looks more for CPU interconnects than for actual CPU processing.
The data still has to be transmitted and still has to get back.

Re:What does this do to the FSB-multiplier setup? (2, Insightful)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131728)

Pushing the FSB is much harder due to the platform. The physical interconnect is far noisier than on die routing, and the distribution of those signals to the memory and/or IO controller is very messy. That's why FSBs are so much slower (or if they are faster, or usually dedicated point-2-point busses).

To reap the benefits of optics outside the package you'd need an optical socket and a radically new kind of mobo design.

Give it 20 more years...

Re:What does this do to the FSB-multiplier setup? (1)

iamsolidsnk (862065) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131913)

What barriers exist to stop this technology from being as fast as the speed of light? Will lasers on a computer only be limited by the theory of relativity?

Natural progression (-1, Offtopic)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131415)

Snakes on a plane...
Sharks on a rollercoaster...
Lasers on a chip...

Fiber to the home (1)

iPodUser (879598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131427)

I am very excited about the potential for advances in the residential fiber market. FIOS is expensive now, but these advances show a lot of promise, and could eventually drive down the cost of such services.
Also interesting is the possibility of optical local area networking - a replacement for gigabit ethernet? These cost and size reductions are important for that to happen.
Very exciting development.

Fa-ricken Layz0rs! (0, Flamebait)

wwiiol_toofless (991717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131449)

A momentus occasion in the annals of humanity. Fa-ricking Layz0rz on a mofoing chip.

Re:Fa-ricken Layz0rs! (2, Funny)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131510)

I don't want any lasers on my annals, that's for sure!

Re:Fa-ricken Layz0rs! (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131614)

Actually these lasers go on mobo chips

A huge advance? (3, Interesting)

Coppit (2441) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131467)

From what I recall in physics class electrons travel at 2/3 c. So at best this means that memories and chips can be 50% further apart, or that clocks can go 50% faster. Or is there more to this?

Re:A huge advance? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131533)

I'm not sure where your getting that number, but from everything I've read/learned, electrons travel at about 6 meters a second (minute?) in copper communications wire, either way, it's pretty slow compared to the speed of light. However, the signal is not transmitted by the electrons, they only propagate it, the actual signal is an EM pulse which also travels the speed of light, or very close to it.

Re:A huge advance? (5, Informative)

DarthTaco (687646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131594)

Electrons do travel slow. I don't know if its 6 meters per second, but that's the right order of magnitude.

But the signal is still transmitted by the electrons, not some EM pulse. Most designers try to minimize the EM radiation. Think of it like a tube full of marbles. If you shove a marble in one end, one will immediately pop out the other end... it doesn't matter that it would take a long time for that specific marble to travel to the other side.

Re:A huge advance? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131711)

there is an EM pulse that travels along the length of the wire, causing a disturbance in the electrons, which then helps to propigate the EM pulse.

What they try to due is reduce the EM radiation perpendicular to the wire, not along it.

Re:A huge advance? (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131990)

The Web is a tube full of marbles? No wonder the Internets don't fit through.

Re:A huge advance? (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131608)

The charges that make up the current in a wire travel very slowly, as you say. But electrons unlike photons don't have a set velocity. They are massive particles(meaning they have mass) so therefore their velocity depends on how much momentum/energy you give them(which is quantized.)

Re:A huge advance? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131632)

Sorry, I should have clarified, that was an average I was giving.

Re:A huge advance? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131661)

I'm not sure where your getting that number, but from everything I've read/learned, electrons travel at about 6 meters a second (minute?) in copper communications wire

That must have been a bitch when most of the telecommunications network was built from copper (like a decade ago).

"Can you hear me now?"

(A year later in Las Angelas)

"Yes, I can hear you!"

Re:A huge advance? (3, Funny)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131831)

i
a m
d u m b
You can make anything from a quote when you only read parts of it...

Example, you just said you were dumb. Each of those letters *was* in your post...

Please read the rest before commenting on something that has been shown to be incorrect. Don't just read parts.

Re:A huge advance? (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131543)

Heat maybe? I'm not sure either...

Re:A huge advance? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131550)

Electrons in a wire move very slowly. Inches per hour. Current travels at c.

Re:A huge advance? (2, Informative)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131584)

When you are talking about electrons you start to have problems with resonance and interference between the connections. This is why memory is such a difficult problem, because manufaturer A has to create a memory module that plays nice on the generic memory bus designed by manufacturer B. If there is an optical buss from the CPU to the memory module, the memory manufacture has carte blanch to design a module as fast as they want, because there is no more buss restrictions. They would only have to solve the electrical interference on their module, and hopefully would eventually go all optical.

Re:A huge advance? (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131662)

I'm in the industry, but this isn't my specialty. From what I remember, the speed of the electrons isn't why this is important. There are electromagnetic effects that limit the speed of communications... things like crosstalk. The little balls, wires, or deposited metal that they currently use to make the interconnections are like tiny little antennas. The interconnections are also a pain in general, no matter what technology is used, because of things like thermal mismatches and encapsulation problems. From a packaging standpoint, this would solve many problems, and probably create even more - alignment, anyone?

Re:A huge advance? (2, Informative)

Steve525 (236741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131910)

People are concerned about bandwidth, not speed. I.e. how much data can you put down a wire (and how big is the wire). Or, at least bandwidth is the only thing they can hope to improve, electrical signals already travel pretty close to the speed of light. Part of what limits electrically lines is RC limits - frequencies beyond resistance * capacitance can't travel. Any line is going to have finite capacitance and resistance. In addition, there may be dispersion and other effects causing high frequency pulses not to travel well.

Because the frequency of light is so high (~200 Terahertz at a wavelength of 1550 nm), light can carry a lot more bandwidth before similar troubles set in. But, making transistors and wires is easy. Making lasers, modulators, detectors, waveguides isn't.

Safe? (5, Funny)

pafmax (462211) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131475)

The future of IM:
- Hey look at what I'm sending you!
- ARGH! MY EYES!!!

Seriously, are these lasers safe?

Re:Safe? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131574)

Depends, it would probably be strong enough to roast an amoeba. So if you're one, I would be scared, very scared.

Re:Safe? (1)

oc255 (218044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131644)

Many of the laser technologies in other areas are safe (don't go testing), in Fiber switches in SANs, telecom switches, cards are usually 'safe'. But who knows what amplification is in the line? You could easy amplify (I suppose) an unsafe laser so it burns a nice gray spot forever. Good question although I don't know if anyone is concerned about the current state of affairs; getting electrocuted by your FSB / PCI-whatever bus?

Re:Safe? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131862)

well, being as the highest voltage you'll find in a PC (barring inside the power supply) is 12 volts, and that it is generally a bad idea to work on a PC while it is plugged in, as that tends to f-up components, there's not much to worry about.

Re:Safe? (5, Funny)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131817)

The future of IM:
- Hey look at what I'm sending you!
- ARGH! MY EYES!!!

That's pretty much what IM is like now.

Re:Safe? (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131818)

The *future* of IM? With goatse and tubgirl, the future is NOW!

no sharks here (0, Offtopic)

spirit_fingers (777604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131490)

KHAN!!!

New Techniques... (2, Interesting)

skogs (628589) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131503)

This makes me wonder about the future new techniques this could be used for. Never mind the obvious inter-chip communication...how about visual systems?

Could this, with another 10 years of evolution and the advancement of color coordination and multi-colored laser chips, provide incredibly high contrast and accurate projections? This is like DLP projectors on steroids. They don't simply reflect light one pixel at at time, they actually create the laser one pixel at a time.

I also was wondering what the 3D applications would be like. Perhaps an R2D2 unit fitted with one of these would have a much sharper and sexier image of the princess asking for OB1's help.

Also, how about a laser weapon targeting system that can lase 100 targets at once for all the bomblets?

Great things are going on in my mind.

Re:New Techniques... (2, Funny)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131635)

Great things are going on in my mind.
It's like a laser.

Great ideas huh? (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131698)

I also was wondering what the 3D applications would be like. Perhaps an R2D2 unit fitted with one of these would have a much sharper and sexier image of the princess asking for OB1's help.

Also, how about a laser weapon targeting system that can lase 100 targets at once for all the bomblets?

Great things are going on in my mind.


Okay dude, I was with you when you talked about a sexier picture of Leia, but the moment you talked about weapons, I could no longer support the idea that your mind was great.

The computer science effect. (2, Insightful)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131521)

Put a lot of people who know a bit about computer science (linux, PHP, etc. ) and have them comment on a hard science. They don't even know enough hard physics and math to even rate their own skills. All they can do is joke about it. Enough with the sharks.

In other news... (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131612)

In other news, people don't know everything. Get used to it.

Re:The computer science effect. (5, Funny)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131712)

Enough with the sharks.

You're right of course. We can't get the sharks anyways. We do, however, have some ill-tempered sea-bass...

Re:The computer science effect. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131918)

mutant ill-tempered sea bass!

*checks post anonymously to avoid ruining my excellent karma.*

You are correct (1)

MooseTick (895855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131832)

You are correct. If only we CS non-engineer types were worthy to comment on anything outside our realm of mastery.

Singularity (1)

JonBuck (112195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131557)

I've been reading a lot of Charles Stross lately, and reading news like this inevitably makes me think about the singularity depicted in Accelerando and his other novels.

Join us. (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131629)

We are out there. Give to singinst.org. Check out brainmeta. The singularity is coming.

The Future (0, Flamebait)

kasgoku (988652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131558)

I cnat wiat for the day wehn hunams will hvae chips inisde tehm taht will make tehm SMARTR, FASTR AND MORE EFFICENT. and i am not talking about potato chips.

PS... I need chips!

So.. (0, Offtopic)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131569)

..how do we fit these on the sharks?

Re:So.. (0, Offtopic)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131581)

Isn't it obvious? Now we'll have sharks with fricken' CHIPS on their heads.

IMMA CHARGIN MAH SILICON-BASED LAZOR (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131602)

IMMA FIRIN MAH LAZOR
SHOOP DA WHOOP

damn you, lameness filter, damn you to heck. imma chargin mah lazer is supposed to be in all caps!

Laser Displays? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131618)

To me, this sounds like an extremely high-res display device. I wonder how suitable this stuff is for displays anyway? Will the manufacturing process be easier/faster/cheaper than other technologies in use today? Will it open doors for the creation of live 3D holographic displays?

Wow! (1)

tonigonenstein (912347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131619)

How novel! A laser on a chip ? You mean, like this [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Wow! (1)

oc255 (218044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131940)

Has a laser diode ever been on a Silicon (only) substrate?

Direction of progress?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131627)

This just seems like its going to extend non-Quantam computing capabilities. We will see processing improvements with optical processors/datapipes, maybe 10~ fold increase in efficiency/speed, but what then? This would appear to cut down on a few ns's for gate switching, but is that all we're going to see here?

Next step beyond that seems to be Quantam computing, and if thats the case, how far can optical computing go before its successor is Quantam? Or, are these 2 seperate information issues? Speed vs. Amount ??

So 40+ years in design... We've made.... (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131650)

A disco ball for your computer! Now not just for it! It is it! Next we'll have Bell bottoms where you put the ipod in the rolled up leg of it (Cause we all now unrolled you'd have like a good 3-4 feet of fabric at your feet.), and your ass will vibrate when the song changes!

Where'd all these children come from? (1)

Veetox (931340) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131660)

What's with all the redundant and worthless comments about sharks and airplanes? I thought this topic deserved some intelligent conversation... In leiu of this, I would like to ask, what does this mean for the rest of the industry? Are we looking at a situation in which Intel patents the findings and regains control of the processor market(and even the rest of the electronics market for this matter)? On a different note, this is pretty good news for a lot of things: (1)Smaller batteries, because laptops will require less energy to run. (2)less heat (maybe? that's more of a guess). (3)Faster running system (obviously, from the article). (4)Now even your processor can be pimped out - pick your team: red or blue?

any chance... (0, Redundant)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131663)

these could be fitted onto a shark's head?

Yeah, but... (0, Redundant)

TeamSPAM (166583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131697)

where are my sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

wootest (694923) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131888)

Meanwhile, I've had it with these motherfucking lasers on this motherfucking chip.

Three years late! (1)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131705)

This is old news; very old news. This technology was in working form in October, 2003: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,61009, 00.html [wired.com]

Re:Three years late! (1)

oc255 (218044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131860)

Working form at 14cm by 14cm? To quote: roughly the size of a Palm Pilot? Also I don't see any details except an allusion to "the way silicon chips are made". Do you have more on this Wired article?

intel has just patented an enzyme sensor too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131706)

From New Scientist:
An enzyme such as glucose oxidase is then attached to one of the two electrodes. When the chip is exposed to blood sugar, this binds with the enzyme making the electrode underneath heavier. The two electrodes then vibrate differently, which an on-chip sensor can easily detect. And comparing its resonance to a stored database provides a quick blood-sugar reading.

If the electrodes are coated with antibodies or DNA instead of enzymes, the chip could also provide early warning of an infection.
The patent application: http://qurl.com/t41zh [qurl.com]
-tito

Does this mean that overclockers... (1)

sonnik (49704) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131710)

...will start looking for ways to go faster than the speed of light?

Freaking laser beams (-1, Redundant)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131714)

Now how can I use these with my sharks....

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131731)

Computer runs hot. User air consitioning to cool it down.
Chips melt if not being cooled. User water to cool them down.
MB uses lasers to transfer information. Turn off lights to not intefere.

So, cold, dark, and wet. All we need is a snake to eat the mouse and we'll have the maternal archetype.

I just saw this. (4, Informative)

Steve525 (236741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131732)

I was at a conference last weel (http://www.ieee.org/organizations/society/leos/LE OSCONF/GFP2006/index.html [ieee.org] ) were this was presented by John Bowers. As they explain briefly in the article, they are bonding InP to Silicon wafers. The silicon provides the waveguiding, and enough of the mode is in the InP to give them gain. They achieved an optically pumped laser, and were still working on an electrically pumped one. I wonder if this announcement will mean that they achieved electrically pumped lasing.

It's good work, but I'm not sure if the bonding process will ever be suitable for monolithography integrated CMOS and photonics. I was more impressed by the work done in Huffaker's lab (http://www.chtm.unm.edu/huffaker/index.html [unm.edu] ) where they are working on growing III-V materials directly on silicon. However, the work by Bowers is more mature and will lead to devices sooner.

Who Cares About Chips? (0, Redundant)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131743)

I want more lasers on sharks!!! Are you listening to me Dick Cheney!!!??? (Of course you are) ;P

What the fuck (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131765)

50% of the visible comments today are regurgitated fad material... jeez...

This is going to take awhile (4, Interesting)

baggins2001 (697667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131768)

I be it will take at least 5 to 10 years to see this on a standard desktop/server system.
My biggest concern is reliability. How many people are running SANS with redundant Fiber optic connections. Why? because the lasers fail. Could you imagine if you had a motherboard built with multiple lasers for on board communication. Yeah it would be fast, right up until the time one of those lasers failed.
InP lasers on silicon is new technology and is quite a ways from being producible in a mass market chip. Manufacturers have enough trouble getting gates, isolation, contacts for silicon devices reproduced. Now tell them to create a step where they put a laser in there and I bet it will take them 2-3 years design and 3 years to get a manufacturing process. (Can anyone say copper level metal?).
Hopefully this isn't something that completely patentable, because this is where the consumers would benefit from competition.
From a manufacturing perspective, I would rather be stuck trying to implement TaO gates.

i can hear amd already.... (1)

fizz_daddy (1003062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131774)

"I want those motherf$cking lasers off those motherf$cking chips!"

Laser likes no obstacles (1)

Nestafo (777210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131792)

I better vacuum the dust out of my box...

Dust (1)

Java Commando (726093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131810)

While this indeed sounds interesting in theoretical application, anyone who's ever worked with computer hardware is aware how much dust/crap accumulates inside a system's case-- Without sealed, clean conduits to facilitate light transfer, I predict such a system would fail in, oh, 3 days of placement. Especially if you have a cat that sheds as much hair as mine does...

And I was blinded by science... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131895)

Uh, that's all i got.

WTF ... a chip?!?! (0, Redundant)

Youx (988716) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131933)

That's just stupid, everyone knows future is lasers-equiped sharks... not laser-equiped chips.

What this breakthrough really means (3, Insightful)

MetaDFF (944558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131967)

By using optical links, this breakthough will solve some of the problems we have today with sending data at high speed across chip to chip busses. The major problem today with sending data at high rates between chips is the losses incurred by travelling across the FR-4 PCB. As the data rates go up, the greater the losses incurred, the more difficult it is to recover the data being sent. Optical interconnects have significantly less losses at high data rates, thus making them a suitable technology for chip to chip communications in the future. This is a breakthrough because now we can integrate exotic optical materials with low cost silicon using standard chip-making equipment. This was something that could not be done in the past.

Optical DVI cables please (1)

chipace (671930) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131996)

I would like to have fiber connections to each room in my house... that way I could have displays anywhere I liked (and keep the unsightly computer/video game/video equipment out of sight). I wouldn't worry about the form factor of my equipment, just the compactness of my displays and speakers (output devices).

Wireless just doesn't have the bandwidth for driving high-res displays.

Now if we could only... (1)

Stultsinator (160564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132007)

Figure out how to mount those chips onto the heads of sharks...

Steve Irwin (1)

SuperGillies (762897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132042)

Who cares about sharks?

I want my lasers on Stingrays...

</badtaste>
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