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Intel Technology

Intel Demos Optical Data Transfer For Servers 71

angry tapir writes "Intel is taking the first steps to implement thin fiber optics that will use lasers and light as a faster way to move data inside computers, replacing the older and slower electrical wiring technology found in most computers today. Intel's silicon photonics technology will be implemented at the motherboard and rack levels and use light to move data between storage, networking and computing resources. The new rack architecture with silicon photonics is a result of more than a decade of research in Intel's laboratories, Intel CTO Justin Rattner said. It could enable communication at speeds of 100Gbps and transfer data at high speeds while using less power than copper cables. The technology could also consolidate power supplies and fans in a data center, reducing component costs."
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Intel Demos Optical Data Transfer For Servers

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  • not new (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thoper ( 838719 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @07:46AM (#42615169)

    relevant wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photonic_computing [wikipedia.org]
    A claimed advantage of optics is that it can reduce power consumption, but an optical communication system will typically use more power over short distances than an electronic one. This is because the shot noise of an optical communication channel is greater than the thermal noise of an electrical channel which, from information theory, means that more signal power is required to achieve the same data capacity. However, over longer distances and at greater data rates, the loss in electrical lines is sufficiently large that optical communications will comparatively use a lower amount of power. As communication data rates rise, this distance becomes longer and so the prospect of using optics in computing systems becomes more practical.

    and a more interesting article from 2010.
    http://phys.org/news199470370.html [phys.org]

    Today computer components are connected to each other using copper cables or traces on circuit boards. Due to the signal degradation that comes with using metals such as copper to transmit data, these cables have a limited maximum length. This limits the design of computers, forcing processors, memory and other components to be placed just inches from each other. Today's research achievement is another step toward replacing these connections with extremely thin and light optical fibers that can transfer much more data over far longer distances, radically changing the way computers of the future are designed and altering the way the datacenter of tomorrow is architected.

  • Re:Is this good-bye? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pale Dot ( 2813911 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @08:28AM (#42615345)

    Is this "good-bye OEM motherboards"?

    Maybe.. Intel has done just as much damage to the hobbyist computer culture as Microsoft or Apple has maybe even more.

    Why? Intel has been very supportive of the most popular hobbyist OS, Linux!

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