Silicon Optical Component

February 27, 2011 at 7:08 PM (Technical Articles)

When I was in BE, our lecturer was discussing about the importance of performance and memory in computers. I remember that class because it was a very special class. Our lecturer was explaining his experiences, when he was studying, the computers were very slow, like they will be switching on the system and going for tea. After coming back with 15 min of tea break , some systems were still in booting process . For the next class I did bunk( many such mistakes I did, but I request my juniors not to do the same mistake) and I did visit internet , I was searching on the same topic. That day I got many useful information on memory and processor technology. Of course I didn’t understand whatever I read that day, But I came to know about the development of memory and processor technology . The main component which made revolution in today’s computers is silicon.

After that  many  times I read in internet about the speed of the computers and their development. I came across an incident , when I was doing my final year project with my idiot project mates( it was a great team ) , there was a feature in our project , that is nothing but transferring a multimedia file ( image or video ) from one system to another system by sending an SMS to a server machine. So our project idea was using mobile phones as a console terminal like keyboard or mouse. whatever we do with keyboard we want to do it by sending an SMS to the system. Ok that is not the topic to discuss here. In our project when we were written code to transfer a small video file, my god it was taking hell amount of time . The moment when it was taking so much time, I was discussing with my team, that there must be something ( a technology which is unknown to this world ) which transfers a huge amount of data in fraction of seconds. Something like switching on our TV and getting the display for the next moment? Of course the discussion went very well , but we didn’t get any idea and we didn’t find any such technology in internet too. Finally my idiot team mates did stopped discussing on that. From that day onwards I was searching, searching and searching ( sadly I have to say , I was not thinking 😦 , I was simply searching 🙂 ). Today I got one useful link  which describe about yet another innovation on data transfer. Here in this blog I wanted to share that with you all. Hmmm of course I didn’t understand it completely , but still it is very nice topic to read and to do R&D on it.

Laser – Quick Data Transfer:

Researchers learn how to make lasers directly on microchips – The result could be computers that download huge files much more quickly . For the first time , researchers have grown lasers from high-performance materials directly on silicon’s. Bringing together electrical & optical components on computer chips would speed data transfer within and between computers.

It is a real fact that when we play with light, we can see dramatic speed .  but bringing electrical materials along with light is not an easy task ( said by researchers ) . There are many hurdles in bringing best laser material with silicon’s but University of California , Berkeley have surmounted this hurdle.

When the nanopillar ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanopillar ) is pumped with light from another laser, the light spirals around inside the pillar, as if running up and down a spiral staircase. The difference in materials between the core and the shell encourages this effect trapping the photons. They spiral until they reach a high enough energy threshold and are emitted. Researchers say that , this spiral effect is something that hasn’t been seen in other types of laser before.

Another key to making lasers on silicon chips is not to let the temperature get too high. Chang-Hasnain(  http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Faculty/Homepages/chang-hasnain.html )  says that her process could eventually be used to grow high – quality lasers on otherwise finished and optical components giving them the capability of encoding data into pulses of light. A lot of progress has been made on silicon optical components says Intel’s Paniccia .

So this is all about Laser technology , I didn’t give detailed explanation on technical words or concepts over here, because it’s very complex to understand for me . I just kept the idea in front of you guys. If anybody do R&D on this and If anybody understand it, please share with me. This is not an easy task to implement it in today’s memory technology , It may be expensive but in future we may play with this. Can anybody guess what kind of speed we may get in data transfer by using this technology? . You can transfer 10GB of data in one second. Super fast like light . Every time when I build iPhone app of size 70MB , It will take 5min to transfer , I have to wait to run it in the device. Every time when testers will be logging the defect like performance hit , memory reached threshold level etc  etc. We struggle to speed up the process of our application. But how difficult it is to achieve the speed? and here we are dreaming to transfer 10GB in one second!!! Great idea , Is it not?

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1 Comment

  1. Nivedita Angadi said,

    Hi Sadu,
    New light on speed related issue of Computers. I felt its complex topic..need more research about it…!! to understand it I need to open my Physics book…(Laser Technology, Photon transmission, Light speed…how light transmit data..)!! Need more study..!!
    But , the idea is good…need effective implementation..:) Thanks for sharing this valuable information..!

    Success,
    Nivedita Angadi

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