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a) Cleaved coupling section of a bent waveguide bus and a resonator; b&c) Delay line consisting of several ring resonators
Researchers have effectively delayed light's travel for the purpose of chips

IBM has announced that its researchers have built a device capable of delaying the flow of light on a silicon chip, which could lead the further development of using light instead of electricity to transfer data. Researchers have known that the use of optical instead of electrical signals for transferring data within a computer chip might result in significant performance enhancements since light signals can carry more information faster. The engineering challenge is buffering data on the chip, which is difficult given light’s speed. Thus, a means of using light effectively is to delay its travel.

Long delays can be achieved by passing light through optical fibers. IBM scientists were able to delay light by passing it through a new form of silicon-based optical delay line built of up to 100 cascaded "micro-ring resonators," built using current silicon complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication tools. When the optical waveguide is curved to form a ring, light is forced to circle multiple times, delaying its travel. The optical buffer device based on this simple concept can briefly store 10 bits of optical information within an area of 0.03 square millimeters. This advancement could potentially lead to integrating hundreds of these devices on one computer chip, an important step towards on-chip optical communications.

"Today's more powerful microprocessors are capable of performing much more work if we can only find a way to increase the flow of information within a computer," said Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president of Science and Technology for IBM Research. "As more and more data is capable of being processed on a chip, we believe optical communications is the way to eliminate these bottlenecks. As a result, the focus in high-performance computing is shifting from improvements in computation to those in communication within the system."

The report on this work, "Ultra-compact optical buffers on a silicon chip," is published in the premiere issue of the journal Nature Photonics. This work was partially supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through the Defense Sciences Office program "Slowing, Storing and Processing Light."



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wow
By slickr on 12/27/2006 11:35:56 AM , Rating: 1
Still it would be until 2012 until this technology is actually capable of doing something and more importand ready for sales!
Hah, how did i miss the chance of buying stock in IBM when it was low, instead i bought 9% in Intel which would have been around 20% at IBM.




RE: wow
By rushfan2006 on 12/27/2006 12:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
LOL...I think you should clarify what you mean when you said "I bought 9% in intel".....that statement would imply, on first glance that you are saying you own 9% of intel stock.....that would/should/is worth MILLIONS of dollars.

Unless you are in fact very wealthy already...then my point would just be "GOOD GOD MAN!!!"...:)



RE: wow
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 12/27/2006 12:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
that would/should/is worth MILLIONS of dollars.

Billions


RE: wow
By deeznuts on 12/27/2006 1:09:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Billions


10.5B to be more precise.


RE: wow
By Samus on 12/27/2006 7:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
I own 0.00034% of intel's volume, and thats still a few thousand. i wish i had a full percent. ;)


RE: wow
By Nyne on 12/27/2006 4:36:17 PM , Rating: 1
no you will see stuff as soon as end of 07 with this and computer use of this by late 2009.


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