Intel’s Silicon Photonics is finally in production after over 15 years of R&D

The bandwidth reducing technology is now shipping in the form of 100G optical transceivers

Intel logo

Intel has announced that it has finally started volume production of its Silicon Photonics technology after over 15 years of R&D.

Announced on stage at the Intel developer Forum in San francisco, Diane Bryant, the firm's executive vide president of its datacentre group, said Silicon Photonics is now in volume production in the form of two optical transceiver products.

"We see a future where silicon photonics optical input-output is everywhere in the data center," said Bryant during the keynote.

These "small form-factor, high speed, and low power consumption products" will arrive in the form of the 100G PSM4, which stands for "Parallel Single Mode fiber 4-lane", and the 100G CWDM4, which stands for "Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing 4-lane".

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

These are the first of Intel's silicon photonics communication chips and will transfer data at 100 gigabits per second, roughly 100 times faster than home Wi-Fi. Bryant said there will also be a next-generation version that will quadruple that to 400Gbps "within a couple of years".

Bryant added that these two products are targeted for use in data communications applications, in particular for switch-to-switch optical interconnects in datacentres.

Silicon Photonics aims to overcome bandwidth, density, weight and energy efficiency issues, which are posed by today's infrastructure, the majority of which runs on copper cables that already struggle to hit 25Gbps.

Silicon Photonics works by combining the manufacturing scale and capability of silicon with the power of light onto a single chip. It will allow us to build silicon-based components that can transmit and receive optical signals, moving large amounts of information at 100 gigabit-per-second over long distances of up to several kilometers on fiber optic cables.

Intel is touting Silicon Photonics as "a combination of two of the most important inventions of the 20th century", that is, the Silicon integrated circuit and the semiconductor laser. With this combination, light has been integrated onto Intel's silicon platform, taking advantage of the bandwidth and reach of optical connectivity, on the scale and technology capability of silicon.

The announcement that the Silicon Photonics products are already being deployed to connect switches in large datacentres marks a major milestone as the commercialisation and high-volume deployment of silicon photonics has been anticipated by the industry for years.  

Advertisement - Article continues below

Intel now believes the market is ready for its new optics technology because not only are datacentres are growing and it will "address the cabling nightmare", but it will use less power with the most cost-effective technology and implementation.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/hardware/34326/intel-hades-canyon-nuc-review-dead-impressive
Hardware

Intel Hades Canyon NUC review: Dead impressive

5 Sep 2019
Visit/hardware/34247/intel-announces-new-10th-gen-comet-lake-processors
Hardware

Intel announces new 10th-gen ‘Comet Lake’ processors

21 Aug 2019
Visit/security/34226/knob-attack-lets-hackers-insert-themselves-into-your-bluetooth-calls
Security

KNOB attack lets hackers listen in on your Bluetooth calls

16 Aug 2019
Visit/server-storage/34108/broadberry-cyberserve-xeon-sp2-r1208-review-a-beast-of-a-server
Server & storage

Broadberry CyberServe Xeon SP2-R1208 review

30 Jul 2019

Most Popular

Visit/policy-legislation/data-governance/354496/brexit-security-talks-under-threat-after-uk-accused-of
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/354468/if-not-passwords-then-what
cyber security

If not passwords then what?

8 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/31772/gdpr-and-brexit-how-will-one-affect-the-other
Policy & legislation

GDPR and Brexit: How will one affect the other?

9 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020