Stanford electrical engineer Jelena Vuckovic wants to make computers faster and more efficient by reinventing how they send data back and forth between chips, where the work is done.
In computers today, data is pushed through wires as a stream of electrons. That takes a lot of power, which helps explain why laptops get so warm.
“Several years ago, my colleague David Miller carefully analyzed power consumption in computers, and the results were striking,” said Vuckovic, referring to electrical engineering Professor David Miller. “Up to 80 percent of the microprocessor power is consumed by sending data over the wires – so called interconnects.”
In a Nature Photonics article whose lead author is Stanford graduate student Alexander Piggott, Vuckovic, a professor of electrical engineering, and her team explain a process that could revolutionize computing by making it practical to use light instead of electricity to carry data inside computers.
In essence, the Stanford engineers want to miniaturize the proven technology of the Internet, which moves data by beaming photons of light through fiber optic threads.
“Optical transport uses far less energy than sending electrons through wires,” Piggott said. “For chip-scale links, light can carry more than 20 times as much data.”
Theoretically, this is doable because silicon is transparent to infrared light – the way glass is transparent to visible light. So wires could be replaced by optical interconnects: silicon structures designed to carry infrared light.
But so far, engineers have had to design optical interconnects one at a time. Given that thousands of such linkages are needed for each electronic system, optical data transport has remained impractical.
Now the Stanford engineers believe they’ve broken that bottleneck by inventing what they call an inverse design algorithm.
It works as the name suggests: the engineers specify what they want the optical circuit to do, and the software provides the details of how to fabricate a silicon structure to perform the task.
“We used the algorithm to design a working optical circuit and made several copies in our lab,” Vuckovic said.
“Our manufacturing processes are not nearly as precise as those at commercial fabrication plants,” Piggott said. “The fact that we could build devices this robust on our equipment tells us that this technology will be easy to mass-produce at state-of-the-art facilities.”
The researchers envision many other potential applications for their inverse design algorithm, including high bandwidth optical communications, compact microscopy systems and ultra-secure quantum communications.
The Latest on: Optical transport
via Google News
The Latest on: Optical transport
- Ultracold atoms put high-temperature superconductors under the microscopeon November 27, 2020 at 10:13 am
Physicists have deployed a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) as a “quantum microscope” to study phase transitions in a high-temperature superconductor. The experiment marks the first time a BEC has been ...
- Optical Transport Network Equipment Market Size to Surpass US$ 17600 million by 2025on November 27, 2020 at 2:33 am
According to this study, over the next five years the Optical Transport Network (OTN) Equipment market will register a 4.5% CAGR in terms of revenue, the global market size will reach $ 17600 million ...
- Ciena’s award winning Wavelogic 5 and 800Gon November 26, 2020 at 4:17 am
Capacity speaks to Helen Xenos, denior director of portfolio marketing at Ciena about the company's award winning Wavelogic 5 and 800G solutions.
- Eradicate Chromatic Aberrations and Dispersion with New Achromatic Singlet Lenses and Low GDD Ultrafast Mirrorson November 25, 2020 at 5:00 am
PRNewswire/ -- Edmund Optics(®), a renowned provider of optical components, continuously expands its product offering to reflect market developments and customer needs. New products are ...
- To boost its military space business, Lockheed Martin turns to commercial playerson November 23, 2020 at 11:58 am
To compete in an unconventional program like the Space Development Agency's Transport Layer, Lockheed Martin decided to team up with commercial companies.
- Improving Quantum Dot Interactions, One Layer At A Timeon November 23, 2020 at 3:36 am
Osaka City University scientists and colleagues in Japan have found a way to control an interaction between quantum dots that could greatly improve charge transport, leading to more efficient solar ...
- Optical Encryption Market: Comprehensive Insights, Market Share, Industry Trends and Healthy Lifestyles during 2028on November 20, 2020 at 12:49 pm
Research Nester released a report titled “Optical Encryption Market: Global Demand Analysis & Opportunity Outlook 2028” which delivers detailed overview of the global optical encryption market in ...
- Optical Transport Equipment Market Grew 9 Percent in 3Q 2020 to $3.8 Billion, According to Dell'Oro Groupon November 19, 2020 at 9:12 am
According to a recently published report from Dell'Oro Group, the trusted source for market information about the telecommunications ...
- Knoxville Biz Ticker: EyeCare Optical extends its coverage of the greater Knoxville area with new locations in Oak Ridge and Hardin Valleyon November 17, 2020 at 6:25 am
EyeCare Optical extends its coverage of the greater Knoxville area with new locations in Oak Ridge and Hardin Valley KNOXVILLE (November 16, 2020)—Earlier this year, EyeCare Optical ...
- Infinera Joins IOWN Global Forum to Accelerate Innovations in Next-generation Optical Networkson November 16, 2020 at 5:08 am
Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) announced today it has joined the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) Global Forum, a consortium formed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), Intel Corporation, a ...
via Bing News