Friday, July 30, 2010

What's Different

clipped from

All of these reasons make using optical, silicon waveguides instead of copper traces an obvious choice. Instead of using numerous copper traces to connect the CPU to the northbridge, for example, one could envision using a single optical fiber. Or having many CPUs on one massive board connect to a chipset located even meters of path distance away. Or even have one room full of just CPUs and another room full of memory.

What Intel demonstrated on Tuesday is a working example of just that - an optical interconnect fabricated using the current traditional CMOS process, for connecting conventional electronics. Effectively an optical bus on silicon.

What’s different about Intel’s demonstration is that the lasers themselves are hybrid silicon.