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Intel reveals new optical data transfer technology

by Scott Bicheno on 8 December 2008, 11:07

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaqfa

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Speedy silicon

Silicon Photonics is the technology of transferring optical information using standard silicon. Intel claims it has made an advance in the development of this technology, exotically named Avalanche Photodetector (APD).

The possible potential of such an innovation is twofold: not only would greater networking bandwidth assist activities like supercomputing, which often links several computers together in order to work on one task, but the use of standard silicon could make this a relatively inexpensive technology.

"This research result is another example of how silicon can be used to create very high-performing optical devices," said Mario Paniccia, Ph.D., Intel Fellow and director of the company's Photonics Technology Lab. "In addition to optical communication, these silicon-based APDs could also be applied to other areas such as sensing, imaging, quantum cryptography or biological applications."

The photo below shows an APD being held by a pair of tweezers. If you want to see an animation explaining the technology further, click here.


HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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Avalanche photo-diodes have been around for a while… the experiment I work on uses more than 100,000 of them. I wonder exactly what the innovation is… it's a bit unclear to me.
Here's a link to loads more info from Intel on the matter