Intel Says Photonics Light the Way to Faster Chips
Intel researchers are shedding some light on a potential new application for chip photonics: upping the performance of multicore processors.
The processor giant’s research labs are exploring ways to use silicon photonics?on-chip components that use light to transmit data?to replace electrical interconnects using copper wiring and simultaneously speed up vital connections that move data into and out of processors.
Intel thinks that electrical interconnects will continue to be used for some time to come, but that optical eventually will win out as it becomes more difficult to wring performance out of copper wires.
Creating bus that can move more data is vital to Intel as the chip maker moves deeper into the realm of multicore chips. Intel recently introduced dual-core Pentium desktop processors, which have two individual processor cores inside a single slice of silicon, where previous chips had only one.