Optical Processing Could Increase Internet Speeds by 1000X
An Australian research consortium is reportedly developing a photonic chip that would process digital signals much faster than conventional silicon electronics.
The chip would work by routing light signals, controlling the frequency of light pulses, and regulating the behavior of the light by changing its color. Like silicon, optical circuits could be printed, leading to cost-effective mass production.
By converting much of the Internet's networking to fiber optics, such circuitry could eliminate lag times and create an 1000-fold increase in the Net's overall speed. With such optical switching in place, even the largest downloads could be completed within a fraction of a second.
Of course, this would depend on most all of the Internet's components being converted to optical circuitry -- a daunting task even if the technology were immediately available. The research team, though, hopes to have a functioning optical switch ready within the coming months.
Tags: fiber optics, Internet, bandwidth, photonics