Researchers at Oregon State University have designed and fabricated the world’s smallest electro-optic modulator, which could mean major reductions in energy used by data centers and supercomputers.
An electro-optic modulator plays the key role in fiber optic networks. Just as a transistor is a switch for electronic signals, an electro-optic modulator is a switch for optical signals. Optical communication uses light, so the modulator turns on and off the light that sends a stream of binary signals over optical fibers.
The new modulator is 10 times smaller and can potentially be 100 times more energy efficient than the best previous devices. It is roughly the size of a bacterium, measuring 0.6 by 8 microns.
“This is by far the most exciting research I have ever done because of the impact the device will bring and because of the challenge it was for design and fabrication,” said Alan Wang, associate professor of electrical engineering in the OSU College of Engineering.
The paper was published by Nano Letters.
For their invention, Wang and his doctoral student, Erwen Li, leveraged technology also developed at Oregon State: transparent conductive oxide materials. The structure they invented uses a transparent conductive oxide gate instead of a typical metal gate to combine a metal-oxide semiconductor capacitor with an ultra-compact photonic crystal nanocavity.
The design, combining innovations in materials and devices, enhanced the interaction between electronics and photonics, which enabled the researchers to create a smaller electro-optic modulator.
Wang had consulted his colleagues in industry about whether he was on the right track for developing something they could use.
“They told me reducing the size and reducing the energy consumption is going to be the trend in the next five to 10 years in industry. So this is exactly the kind of device they’re looking for,” Wang said.
The Latest on: Energy consumption
via Google News
The Latest on: Energy consumption
- China tech giants wake up to renewable energy, but fossil fuels still dominate as electricity sourceon January 10, 2020 at 7:35 pm
Chindata Group, which specialises in running data storage centres, came top of the renewable energy rankings with a score of 80 out of a possible 100. in fifth with 46. (Alibaba is the owner of the ...
- Energy Markets Have an Interesting Year Aheadon January 10, 2020 at 11:03 am
The start of a new year brings with it a raft of data on the world’s energy systems. So far, electricity sector figures show a transition well underway — some sources increasing, others collapsing.
- Breaking down Reliant's energy plans: When 'free' really means more expensiveon January 10, 2020 at 10:43 am
Reliant Energy, the retail electricity provider owned by NRG Energy ... are great for customers who aren’t home during peak periods or who are willing to change their behavior and shift their power ...
- EGEB: Texas used more green energy than coal in 2019, moreon January 10, 2020 at 9:05 am
So this puts in perspective how much work the state — and indeed, the entire country — has left to do to increase its clean energy consumption. However, the move toward green energy in the Lone Star ...
- TC Energy: Great Stock But Wait For A Better Entry Pointon January 10, 2020 at 8:33 am
In addition, natural gas is considered much cleaner than coal and petroleum products and hence its consumption is likely to continue growing for many more years, as mentioned above. TC Energy is ...
- Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) Systems Market: Getting Back To Growthon January 10, 2020 at 3:41 am
World Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) Systems Market Research Report (by Product Type, End-User / Application and Regions / Countries) is latest research study released by HTF MI ...
- Energy Poised For A Reboundon January 10, 2020 at 3:00 am
The argument for energy-related companies as an important part of any portfolio is based in part on valuation and in part on economic significance. The history of Personal Consumption Expenditure vs.
- China’s tech firms lag on renewable energy targets: Greenpeaceon January 9, 2020 at 2:22 am
At the time, just under 10% of China’s total energy consumption was supplied from renewable sources. Context: The Chinese internet industry is forecasted to increase its consumption of electricity by ...
- Chinese internet firms falling behind on renewable energy goals - Greenpeaceon January 8, 2020 at 11:00 pm
SHANGHAI, Jan 9- China's internet firms have fallen behind global peers in sourcing energy from clean, renewable sources, with soaring use of internet data driving up energy demand and carbon ...
via Bing News