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Short, on-chip light pulses will enable ultrafast data transfer within computers
Date:11/24/2010

d electron behavior, and optical coherence tomography which can capture biological tissues in three dimensions.

In addition to increasing data transfer rates, switching from copper wires to optical interconnects will reduce power consumption caused by heat dissipation, switching and transmission of electrical signals.

"At UC San Diego, we recognized the enabling power of nanophotonics for integration of information systems close to 20 years ago when we first started to use nano-scale lithographic tools to create new optical functionalities of materials and devices and most importantly, to enable their integration with electronics on a chip. This Nature Communications paper demonstrates such integration of a few optical signal processing device functionalities on a CMOS compatible silicon-on-insulator material platform," said Yeshaiahu Fainman, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Fainman acknowledged DARPA support in developing silicon photonics technologies which helped to enable this work, through programs such as Silicon-based Photonic Analog Signal Processing Engines with Reconfigurability (Si-PhASER) and Ultraperformance Nanophotonic Intrachip Communications (UNIC).

Pulse Compression for On-Chip Optical Interconnects

The compressed pulses are seven times shorter than the original -- the largest compression demonstrated to date on a chip.

Until now, pulse compression featuring such high compression factors was only possible using bulk optics or fiber-based systems, both of which are bulky and not practical for optical interconnects for computers and other electronics.

The combination of high compression and miniaturization are possible due to a nanoscale, light-guiding tool called an "integrated dispersive element" developed and designed primarily by electrical engineering Ph.D. candidate Dawn Tan.

The new d
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Contact: Daniel Kane
dbkane@ucsd.edu
858-534-3262
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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