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Intel Brings Integrated Silicon Optics Closer

Competitor Luxtera says it can match Intel

3 min read

4 August 2010—The race to replace copper wiring with optics in chip-to-chip communications reached a new milestone last week as Intel announced it had produced a system using silicon-based photonics to transmit data between printed circuit boards at 50 gigabits per second.

”We’re bringing silicon manufacturing to optical communication,” says Mario Paniccia, director of Intel’s Photonics Technology Lab. ”It changes the way in the future that we’re going to connect.” Until recently, optical communications was done using exotic semiconductors and other expensive components. Making such systems in silicon should lower their price and allow for easy integration into computers.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan
LightGreen

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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