German researchers claim world record in silicon integrated nanophotonics
July 04, 2013 // Paul Buckley
Researchers of the Institute of Electrical and Optical Communications Engineering (INT) at the and the Institut für Mikroelektronik Stuttgart (IMS CHIPS) are claiming a new world record in the energy efficient integration in silicon.
The internet and telecommunications are based on an optical core network that connects cities worldwide using glass fibers. These can carry light with low losses over long distances. Based on a study published by CISCO, the mobile data transfer (smartphones) will solely increase from 885 petabytes per month (end of 2012) up to ten exabytes per month in the year 2017.
Researchers of the INT and IMS CHIPS have developed a fabrication process to realize complex sender and receiver structures that are integrated on silicon wafers. Existing optical senders and receivers are based on indium phosphide substrates, which are available only in small dimensions and to high costs. Experts predict that optical connections will be necessary in the home computer of the year 2020 to exchange the huge amount of data between individual components of the computer. The used light has a frequency of around 192 Terahertz and can offer bandwidths of several Terahertz and data rates beyond 1 Terabit/s. Worldwide researchers are trying to develop new components to make use of these tremendous data rates in commercial products. Because silicon is transparent at the used light frequency, this material can be utilized in waveguiding structures. Computing based on photons in nanoelectronic circuits can be then achieved in future computer components.All news
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