Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Intel claims silicon laser breakthrough

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Science Donate to DU
papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 03:49 PM
Original message
Intel claims silicon laser breakthrough

Intel claims silicon laser breakthrough (silicon Raman laser)
Wednesday, February 16, 2005 Posted: 3:01 PM EST (2001 GMT)

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- Researchers from Intel Corp. have created the first continuous laser beam using silicon components, a development the chip maker called a major scientific breakthrough that could herald significant advances in communications and medicine.

In a paper to be published Thursday in the journal Nature, Intel's Photonics Technology Laboratory reported a way to overcome the primary hurdle to using silicon as a medium for laser light, an effect in which electrons freed by the energy of passing photons absorb the light as it passes through.

Researchers at the world's largest maker of microchips overcame that problem -- called two-photon absorption -- by using a technique from the world of semiconductors: it created positive and negative regions around the path of the laser light, which "vacuum" away electrons and provide a clear road for the laser.

A continuous laser beam generated through silicon, which is transparent to infrared light, could overcome cost and size limitations in current lasers used in surgery and communications, which are made with more exotic and expensive materials, Intel said.

Bahram Jalali, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California in Los Angeles who has also done work with silicon lasers, said Intel's laser holds promise as the basis for defense applications, as in infrared jamming devices to defend against heat-seeking missiles.<snip>

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. Why must a major EE breakthrough be twisted into "missile jamming" tech?
Driving down the size and cost of laser diodes is going to do fantastic things for computer and network design. But apparently that's not good enough to get a mention these days, there has to be a "defense application" mentioned for it to be interesting to CNN. :(

Here's another take on it:

At least this article hints at the possibility for improving bus speeds.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-05 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. no offense
but I dont have a problem with there being a defense application as well, and they mention the medical and computer applications before the defense application.

I think an infrared missile jammer is a pretty good and useful application.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-05 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. they mention *communications* apps, not computers per se
Edited on Tue Feb-22-05 02:33 AM by 0rganism
"Computer speed" may or may not be implicit to you in "communications applications", but honestly, this should be explicit and up-front if a speculative weapons app can get its own para.

Look, if what you want is an infrared laser, there are already many kinds of technology available to provide it for you, especially on the DOD's budget. By far the greatest advance of the silicon lasing technology is the orders-of-magnitude decrease in the cost of optical buses and NICs, and that doesn't even make it into the story.

One of the biggest problems with computer design has been reducing cross-talk between electrical conductors in cabling and on circuit boards. The higher the speeds and the longer the wires or traces, the more of a problem this becomes. So here we've got the potential for practically-priced on-board optical signaling which completely gets around EMI and electrical impedence, and greatly simplifies the error detection/correction routines as a result.

Stable silicon waveguides is huge, likely the start of a quantum leap in computer system interconnects, and apparently it doesn't even merit a paragraph in the MSM. If you do a google for "silicon waveguide raman laser" you'll see a marked difference between how the industry organs talk about the development potential and how the goons at CNN handled it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Aug 23rd 2017, 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Science Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC