23 Dec '15, 9pm

Processor With Photonic Interconnects Built

Processor With Photonic Interconnects Built

Chip designers would love to use light beams rather than copper wires to move data between microprocessors. Such optical interconnects would overcome the bandwidth bottleneck inherent in the wires and take full advantage of the leaps in processor speed, but marrying two very different technologies—electronics and photonics—has been a high hurdle to overcome. Now a group of researchers has proposed a way to build transistors and optics on the same chip, doing so for the first time without a major overhaul of the chip-making process. And they used it to build an IC containing 70 million transistors and 850 photonic components, which together provide all the logic, memory, and interconnection functions a processor needs. Engineers at MIT, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Colorado, Boulder founded a start-up to commercialize what they call their “z...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/optoele...

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