petralynn writes to tell us the New York Times is reporting that Stanford engineers have discovered a method to modulate a beam of laser light up to 100 billion times a second. The new technology apparently uses materials that are already in wide use throughout the semiconductor industry. From the article: "The vision here is that, with the much stronger physics, we can imagine large numbers - hundreds or even thousands - of optical connections off of chips," said David A.B. Miller, director of the Solid State and Photonics Laboratory at Stanford University. "Those large numbers could get rid of the bottlenecks of wiring, bottlenecks that are quite evident today and are one of the reasons the clock speeds on your desktop computer have not really been going up much in recent years."