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Optical components

Intel at 40

2:15 PM -- Let's leave aside that Intel ad kerfluffle. (Other than one last gratuitous link: See All Bow to Intel.) What's going on at the chip giant's silicon photonics lab?

Well, Intel has gotten its silicon modulator speed up to 40 Gbit/s, according to its research blog.

The modulator has been the star pupil of Intel's silicon-photonics program. It first came out at 1 Gbit/s in 2004 and got ratcheted up to 30 Gbit/s late last year. (See Intel's Modest Modulator and Intel Pushes Silicon Modulator .)

I've heard more than a few people wonder aloud why Intel continues to work on silicon photonics. I think Intel's main interest is on-chip optical interconnect, but there might also be a prestige factor. Every year or two, Intel publishes an incremental advance in a jounal like Nature and invites the general press to Santa Clara to hear the silicon photonics story yet again. It gives Intel a Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) air, and I think they like that.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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