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On September 18, 2006, Intel and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) announced the demonstration of the world’s first electrically driven hybrid silicon laser. This device successfully integrates the light-emitting capabilities of indium phosphide with the light-routing and cost advantages of silicon. The researchers believe that with this development, silicon photonic chips containing dozens or even hundreds of hybrid silicon lasers could someday be built using standard high-volume, low-cost silicon manufacturing techniques. This development addresses one of the last hurdles to producing low cost, highly integrated silicon photonic chips for use inside and around PCs, servers, and data centers. This paper explains how the hybrid silicon laser works, how it is a key enabler for silicon photonics, and how the resulting integrated silicon photonic chips could someday enable the creation of optical “data pipes” carrying terabits of information. These terabit optical connections will be needed to meet the bandwidth and distance requirements of future servers and data centers powered by hundreds of processors.Read the full Hybrid Silicon Laser and Photonics Technology White Paper.
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