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Intel Records Research Advancements That Overcame the Limitations of Existing Optical Computing I/O Technology

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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In a bid to uphold its research and development sector, the American multinational technology company, Intel has announced a significant advancement in its integrated photonics research. The tech giant achieved achievements that overcame the limitations of existing optical computing input/output (I/O) technology.

Intel has established the groundwork for the next-generation computing I/O market by incorporating optical (photonics) technology that improves input/output performance and power efficiency. Using Intel’s safe approach, the prospect of commercialization, such as mass production, has also increased.

The American tech giant revealed that it has exceeded industry standards by developing multi-wavelength integrated photonics technology. Optical computing I/O, or photonics, may send and receive high-bandwidth signals via optical fibers rather than traditional I/Os that carry electrical signals over copper wires. It is thought to be the next-generation I/O technology.

Intel Labs has developed an 8-wavelength distributed feedback laser array with +/-0.25 decibels output uniformity and 6.5 percent wavelength spacing uniformity. The output homogeneity and wavelength spacing are better than the industry average.

The results of this study reveal that splitting the light source into uniform wavelengths while keeping a uniform optical output power leads to good optical technology-based connection performance. It solves the wavelength spacing uniformity and output challenges that the existing high-density wavelength division multiplexing technology had difficulty implementing.

It is conceivable to construct next-generation computer I/O employing advanced optical networking technologies in response to the rapidly expanding demand for high-bandwidth artificial intelligence and machine learning in the future.

The laser array, which is the technology’s heart, is conceived and built using Intel’s commercial 300mm hybrid silicon optical platform. The same exposure technology as the 300mm silicon wafer was used in the Intel process. We were able to improve our manufacturing capacities by fully exploiting current process technology. Cost savings are also attainable with bulk production.

Intel’s silicon photonics product business is using 8-wavelength integrated laser array technology in its chipset devices. Photonics technology will be used in the future to improve power efficiency and connection between the central processor unit, graphics processing unit, and memory.

Speaking on the success recorded Hai Seung Long, senior principal engineer at Intel Labs, said:

“This new research demonstrates that it’s possible to achieve well-matched output power with uniform and densely spaced wavelengths. Most importantly, this can be done using existing manufacturing and process controls in Intel’s fabs, thereby ensuring a clear path to volume production of the next-generation co-packaged optics and optical compute interconnect at scale.”


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