Intel’s Laser-enabled Chips Could be Silver Bullet

September 19th, 2006 |
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SANTA CLARA, CA, September 19, 2006 (PodTech News) — Intel says its new experimental semiconductors could be the breakthrough the chip industry has been looking for — the one that will allow chips to keep pace with Moore’s Law. They’ll do this by using lasers instead of wires to shuttle around data. Semiconductor experts have been pointing to a possible end of the “Law” that predicts that chip performance will essentially double every 18 months. That law, first set forth by Intel’s own Gordon Moore in the 1960s, has so far held true, but devices have become so densely packed with circuits that heat prevents the addition of more transistors. That’s why lasers on chips, or silicon photonics, could solve the problem of heat, according to researchers like Intel’s Mario Paniccia. Paniccia heads the silicon photonics lab at the world’s largest chip maker, and says the methods of manufacturing would make laser-enabled microprocessors inexpensive enough bring to market at competitive price points. PodTech’s Jason Lopez chatted with Paniccia in his lab at Intel.

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