Intel Unveils Optical Technology to Kill Copper Cables and Make Data Centers Run Faster
While this appears to be the work of a lone manufacturer (instead of an industry standard), Intel is the 900 pound gorilla, especially when some key customers like Facebook commit to using it.
Intel hopes to make computing far more efficient by introducing a technology that replaces conventional copper data cables with faster optical data links. The breakthrough required Intel to fit lasers and other optical components onto silicon chips, which usually deal only with electronic signals.The initial version of what Intel calls its silicon photonics technology can transmit data at speeds of 100 gigabits per second along a cable approximately five millimeters in diameter. Intel will offer it for use connecting servers inside data centers, where it can take the place of PCI-E data cables that carry data at up to eight gigabits per second and networking cables that reach 40 gigabits per second at best….
…The current form of the technology was shaped by feedback from companies including Facebook, Microsoft, and cloud hosting company Rackspace, some of which have committed to using the technology, says Paniccia.