Now Transfer Data At The Speed Of Light With Nano Lasers

Posted on February 28, 2011 in Sci-Tech


By Pallavi Chauhan:

Imagine the world 2000 years ago when there was no civilization, where it use to take years for a person to travel a few thousand kilometers. To either discover new land or to find resources. Could he think of covering a distance of covering the same amount of distance in a picosecond?

There was a time when people could only communicate through face to face interactions. This can be considered the dark ages. It was a time before technology of any sort and people relied on listening and speaking to keep up to date with events of the day. Friends and family were the most common people associated with, and people from other parts of the world were never heard from. It is a very different world today.

Inch by inch, communication methods improved over time. People sent letters and began creating routes for a real and dedicated system to deliver mail. Other things like carrier pigeons and messages in bottles were also used to send bits of information when necessary. The biggest breakthrough of the time was the invention of the telegraph. After a long process of trial and error, the method was perfected and finally linked people from ocean to ocean. The speed at which information could be transferred increased exponentially and the world was on its way to entering the modern age of communication.

The telegraph was important because it ushered in an age of communication over the air. It established the roots for a type of communication that we see today except now we have reached the next step of existing in a wireless word. We are so advanced that information is shooting around the same space and air that we breathe. Through the internet communication can happen in an instant as time and distant are no longer factors in delivering news. Can you even imagine what it would be like without the internet today? Ask yourself how long you could last, maybe a week? How about even a day? For some people the inconvenience would be traumatic and their businesses would suffer greatly.

This has changed the way people communicate on an individual basis with webchat programs and affordable headsets so common today. New developments have also been seen in relationships and with things as seemingly trivial as pickup lines. It has also affected politics and economics on a global scale as we have become so interconnected with other parts of the world. The effect on the population has been dramatic and while the overall consequences may not be clear for years to come, what it certain is that there is no turning back.

We are now on a new chapter: Can you imagine data traveling in the speed of light

Well yes, now researchers have made lasers out of high-performance materials directly on silicon. Bringing together electrical and optical components on computer chips would speed data transfer within and between computers, but the incompatibility of the best laser materials with the silicon used to make today’s chips has been a major hurdle. (source)

By growing nanolasers made of so-called exotic semiconductors on silicon, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have surmounted this hurdle. With further development, the Berkeley lasers could provide ways to transfer more data more quickly, speeding up computing within supercomputers and making it faster to download large files.

Getting data on and off your laptop is becoming a bottleneck. It’s difficult to push data through today’s copper wiring at rates higher than 10 gigabits per second. This slows data transfer between components of a computer, such as the CPU and the memory, and imposes limitations on design. Designers must put components as close together as possible so that data doesn’t have to travel too far, generating heat and slowing down the system.

Data encoded in light pulses can travel farther faster and with lower losses. But the only way to get optical components onto today’s chips is to do it using materials and manufacturing methods that are compatible with the silicon systems used in today’s fabs. The future of photonics is based on silicon. The problem is that silicon itself is s a poor laser material, wasting a lot of energy and making little light. (Source)

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Communication is henceforth the major topic of discussion and we look forward to noticing more of such wonderful researches in the field of data transfer to make the world more connected