Engineers Report Breakthrough in Laser Beam Technology

October 26, 2005 | Source: New York Times

A team of Stanford electrical engineers has discovered how to modulate a beam of laser light up to a 100 billion times a second with widely used silicon and germanium materials, using a standard chip-making process to design a key component of optical networking gear potentially more than 10 times faster than the highest-performance commercial products available today.

The cheap optical products may make it possible to interconnect computer chips at extremely high data rates.

Several industry executives said the advance was significant because it meant that optical data networks were now on the same Moore’s Law curve of increasing performance and falling cost that has driven the computer industry for the past four decades.