Breaking News
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
User Rank
Re: laser?
alche   10/23/2013 6:21:37 PM
One alternative to Si photonics is plastic waveguide. Curiousely no one seems to talk about it.

User Rank
krisi   10/23/2013 5:05:16 PM
The key technical probolem for years have been building a laser on silicon die...without it it is hard to talk about silicon the sound of teh article this key problem has not been solved yet

User Rank
Re: What is the main benefit of silicon photonics?
alche   10/23/2013 3:44:19 PM
Good post. All comes down to Bose-Einstein vs Fermi-Diraq statistics. Ironically, what makes photons so good for carrying information over distance makes them so bad for processing information due to the lack of interaction. We will still need electrons for a while longer ):

User Rank
Re: What is the main benefit of silicon photonics?
Terry.Bollinger   10/23/2013 1:46:57 PM
What is the main distinction of photonics versus, say, using light in fiber communications?

Connectivity! Cheap, fast, powerful, and energetically low-cost flows of humongous numbers of bits between chips.

Imaging a gigantic server farm with only a couple of traditional analog phone lines running into it. You have enormous power, but no way to give it the data it needs to use that power, and no way to get the result back out.

Sadly, that's pretty much the situation for most modern chips: They are IO strangled, forced to live with data rates in and out that are far less than what they could handle if given the chance. It's like having a cheetah for a pet and keeping it in a room that only measures 5 meters by 5 meters.

The reason for this lies deep into physics: We use electrons to communicate with chips, and electrons are fermions, which just means they get very ornery about being pushed too close together. So to use them, you have to create separate paths for them, and also keep them separated in time. It's like herding cats: It only works if you define very clear paths that even an ornery cat has to stick to get anywhere.

Photons in contrast are bosons, which just means they have zero problems with stepping all over each other. So for example, in a cross-connect, photons can pass right through each, and do it in huge quantities, without any problem. You can see the same effect when you cross the beams of two lasers or flashlights without any problem (well, unless you are in a Ghost Busters movie). For contrast, try crossing the fermion-based water "beams" coming out of two garden hoses and watch the splatterific results. Ditto for electrons that are not kept carefully guided at all times.

Finally, photons can cross empty space, and have no annoying charges that must be cancelled out within a circuit. That makes them closest thing available to pure transfers of information.

Put all of that together, and what it means is that photonic lattices can unleash the real power of all those little chips, the ones that are pacing their silicon cages in abject frustration. Everything starts to move a lot faster, and does so using far less energy.

The two slides on Page 4 of the article nicely show the cost implications of letting all those little silicon cheetahs run free on a photonic lattice: A 6.5 times reduction in power costs, not bad! I suspect there would also be a huge reduction in the footprint for a given level of capabilities, so we are talking about *major* expansion of money-generating capacities for legacy data centers that are stuck with fixed power and cooling capacities.

So, as someone else noted here, it's great to see the old idea of photonic interconnects reaching a point where real commercial systems may be just a few years away. Success with photonic interconnects would obsolete traditional data center architectures and eventually take them over.

Whether Oracle will succeed in being the one to dominate this incipient market is yet to be seen, but clearly they are doing some great work. But my strong suspicion is that other groups are also doing great work, and some of them may not want to advertise what they are doing quite yet. That's because the market potential for this market so high for whoever gets it right first: Reinventing and re-equipping legacy and new data centers globally? Uh... wow? (A caveat: The second-starter-wins rule may apply here. Surprisingly often in IT, the first big player makes all the mistakes, while the second big player starts clean and ends up outpacing the founder.)

User Rank
prabhakar_deosthali   10/23/2013 12:18:11 PM
As a layman, I am curious to know how this silicon photonics differnet from the fibre optics. Is it the better speed, lower power or something else?

User Rank
Re: Optical C2C
R_Colin_Johnson   10/23/2013 9:53:54 AM
Great report on Oracle's progress in silicon photonics. Intel claims to be ahead of the pack, and has the systems to prove it, but as noted in Rick's story its still early in the game and Oracle has the advantage of its big installed base hungry for the affordable increased bandwidth.

User Rank
Re: Optical C2C
junko.yoshida   10/23/2013 2:37:06 AM
I've writing about this for along time. Is Oracle the most advanced among those in the field?

rick merritt
User Rank
Optical C2C
rick merritt   10/23/2013 12:12:10 AM
I've been earing about optical chip and board links for 20 years, but the depth and breadth of work today makes me believe it could be just 3-5 years away.

<<   <   Page 2 / 2 Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)

What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.
Like Us on Facebook
Special Video Section
LED lighting is an important feature in today’s and future ...
The LT8602 has two high voltage buck regulators with an ...
Silego Technology’s highly versatile Mixed-signal GreenPAK ...
The quality and reliability of Mill-Max's two-piece ...
Why the multicopter? It has every thing in it. 58 of ...
Security is important in all parts of the IoT chain, ...
Infineon explains their philosophy and why the multicopter ...
The LTC4282 Hot SwapTM controller allows a board to be ...
This video highlights the Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoC, and sho...
Homeowners may soon be able to store the energy generated ...
The LTC®6363 is a low power, low noise, fully differential ...
See the Virtex® UltraScale+™ FPGA with 32.75G backplane ...
Vincent Ching, applications engineer at Avago Technologies, ...
The LT®6375 is a unity-gain difference amplifier which ...
The LTC®4015 is a complete synchronous buck controller/ ...
The LTC®2983 measures a wide variety of temperature sensors ...
The LTC®3886 is a dual PolyPhase DC/DC synchronous ...
The LTC®2348-18 is an 18-bit, low noise 8-channel ...
The LT®3042 is a high performance low dropout linear ...