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Want to transfer a high-definition movie in one second? 2010-Jul-28 at 15:28 PST

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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From Intel: Light beams can replace electronic signals for future computers, by Andrew Nusca, 27-July-2010:

Intel built a prototype of the world’s first silicon-based optical data connection with (wait for it…) integrated lasers.

Yes, lasers.

That matters because the optical link can move data over longer distances and much faster than copper cables: up to 50 gigabits of data per second.

(If that means nothing to you, try this: an entire high-definition movie being transmitted each second.)

(There are also two short videos at that page that show how this technology works.)

Imagine devices that can transfer data this quickly… and then imagine the networking hardware that would be required to support a large number of these kinds of devices on one network (like, for instance, your neighborhood’s cable modem switch, supporting hundreds of customers, or the optical switches that would enable YouTube to stream HD video to millions of users simultaneously).

We already know that this kind of hardware is necessary to get us to the point where we’re communicating in real-time video around the world, and we need that level of communication to enable things like global Integral Politics.  And, again, the exponential growth curves are in effect.  Nice to see this early work happening.

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