A recent development in the world of silicon photonics (that’s technology using optical rays for the layperson) means that computer speeds could really begin to skyrocket. The recently developed technology allows components to talk to each other using light instead of wires, creating extremely efficient electronics.
The research team from University of Colorado – Boulder, led by Milos Popovic, allows microprocessors to use light instead of electrical wires. By using optical communication circuits, which use light to send information, you can make electronics that are much more efficient. For instance, a single fiber-optic strand can allow thousands of different wavelengths to travel all at the same time, eliminating what is known as “cross talk.”
In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore described an observation in which computer chips double in performance every two years. This held true until recently, as chips have gotten smaller without a corresponding increase in speed. But this new breakthrough could actually push the trend back on track. That it integrates right in with existing computing infrastructure, meaning that the electronics industry wouldn’t have to completely change to utilize the technology, makes this development particularly exciting. In the real world, that could mean much smaller and must faster phones, tablets and computers.