Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) have built the world's first mode-locked silicon evanescent laser. But what is an 'evanescent' laser? It is a step toward 'combining lasers and other key optical components with the existing electronic capabilities in silicon.' In other words, this research work will provide a way to integrate optical and electronic functions on a single chip. As these evanescent lasers can produce stable short pulses of laser light, they will be useful for many optical applications, such as high-speed data transmission or highly accurate optical clocks."