Intel and the University of California at Santa Barbara have joined together to form a research team that has just presented the world with the first silicon base chip capable of transferring data using a laser. This technological advance helps resolve one of the most important limitations in modern computing: wires. No matter how fast a chip can process information within itself, if it needs to be transferred somewhere else wires will make the overall time of the transaction increase. Chips capable of communicating with one another through laser would definitive boost transfer time and allow more dense layouts. This is definitely a milestone in modern computing.
The idea of optical communications has been around for a couple of years at the most, and it’s not only Intel that is looking to develop it, there are other research teams around the world looking for different ways of implementing this technology. But one for the great achievements of this team was to come up with a bonding technique that allows them to join the silicon part of the chip with an indium phosphide layer which makes transmitting information through light possible, feat that in the past was unreachable because of the delicate silicon circuits.