Optical interconnect

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Optical interconnect is a way of communication by optical cables.[1] Compared to traditional cables, optical fibers are capable of a much higher bandwidth, from 10 Gbit/s up to 100 Gbit/s.[2]

The technology is currently being introduced as a way to link computers to mobile devices,[3] as well as on motherboards and devices within computers.[2][4]

IBM has created a prototype optical interconnect using wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM). They suggest that if successful, this technology could lead to the first computer capable of exascale computing (a computer that can perform a billion billion computations per second).[5] A waveguide emits eight different colored beams into several different ports of a modulator, which allows eight signals to be transferred concurrently. This multi-wavelength beam travels through the chip, with optical switches controlling the direction.[6]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Myslewski, Rik (2009-09-23). "Intel unfurls copper-killing optical cables". The Register. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  2. ^ a b Shankland, Stephen (2009-09-23). "Intel's Light Peak: One PC cable to rule them all". CNet. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  3. ^ Shah, Agam (2009-09-23). "Intel Connects PCs to Devices Using Light". PCWorld. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  4. ^ Bek, Jesper (2008-06-09). "Parallel Optical Interconnects". IPtronics. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  5. ^ Ross, Valerie. April, 2011. "The Light-Driven Computer". Popular Science. Volume 278, #4, Page 58.
  6. ^ "Light-driven plasmonic nanoswitch may pave way for new computers, tech". http://www.physorg.com/news151345921.html. January 16, 2009. June 8, 2011.

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