Intel bets on Photonics, a research center to develop connections for future data centers

Intel Laboratoriesthe division of the American semiconductor giant that deals with the most advanced research, has announcement create a new research Center focused on photonicswith the aim of developing i high-speed connections of future data centers.

Intel has particularly focused on silicon photonicsthat is to say the combination of silicon integrated circuits and semiconductor lasers to enable faster data transfers over greater distances than traditional electronics.

fotonica intel centro ricerca 10 12 2021

The development of new, ever faster interconnection technologies is necessary because of the growing amount of information passing from one server to another. “The industry is rapidly catching up practical limits of electrical I/O performanceIntel explains.soon the power available for computational operations will reach a limit. This performance barrier could be overcome by integrating silicon with optical connectivity,” Intel concludes.

The American company has gone through several stages in the development of the fundamental technological bricks of integrated photonics: generation of light, amplification, detection, modulation, CMOS interface circuits and integration of packages are essential to obtain the performance required in order to replace electricity as interface majorhigh bandwidth for non-package links a few tokens.

Optical connectivity has also superior capabilities to electric in terms of range, bandwidth density, power consumption and latency. Further innovations are needed to extend optical performance while reducing consumption and costs, which is why the new center was born, a place where world-renowned universities and researchers can achieve these goals.

John Bowers of the University of California, Santa Barbara, for example, will work on a project called “Heterogeneously Integrated Quantum Dot Lasers on Silicon”, in which a team will study the integration problems of silicon arsenide quantum dot lasers. indium (InAs) with traditional quantum dot lasers. silicon photonics.

Pavan Kumar Hanumolu of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will develop ultra-low-power, high-sensitivity optical receivers using novel architectures for transimpedance amplifiers. Finally, Ming Wu of the University of California (Berkeley) will develop integrated waveguide lenses that have the potential to enable non-contact optical conditioning between fiber arrays with low losses and high tolerances. These are just a few of the projects Intel and its partners will be working on over the next few years with the goal of supporting exponential data usage over the next decade and beyond.

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