Intel's silicon laser - significant breakthrough for optical communication

Posted on Thursday, February 17 2005 @ 20:23 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Chip giant Intel reached an important breakthrough for optical communication by finishing the development of a silicon laser that uses eight continuous Raman lasers.

The new silicon laser chip can be built with cheaper production processes and requires less expensive production materials than standard lasers.

The lasers emit a continuous stream of light that can then be modulated into a stream of impulses that can represent data. Cheap optical parts could not only lead to faster computers but also to less expensive and more accurate medical equipment.

"This is a scientific breakthrough, and a psychological breakthrough, because no one thought you could do it," said Mario Paniccia, director of the photonics technology lab at Intel. Silicon is not a good optical material in ordinary circumstances, he added.
This technology will probably reach the market within four to five years.

More details at ZDNet