My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Intel's Silicon Photonics Modules replaces Copper wiring in Laptops, Tablet and smartphones

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How Intel's Silicon Photonics Modules replaces Copper wiring in Laptops, Tablet and smartphones

Intel, one of the supporters of the original Thunderbolt standard used by Apple, is predicting that Optical will be the future of computing.

They've even gone as far as investing in silicon photonics modules as reported in the article “Intel abandons copper cables for lights and lasers to speed up data transfers”, published Aug 17, 2016 by Agam Shah, PC World.

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These silicon photonics modules are basically processors inside of chipsets arrays that use light to communicate with the outside world as well as internally within Servers. Intel has also developed a connector standard called MXC to interconnect servers running on silicon photonics modules along with a protocol called O­PCI (Optical PCI) for PCI­Express communications over optical cables.

Fiber Optics are already been used successfully for long-haul communications and uses less cabling and is faster and operate at cooler temperatures. The idea is that fiber optics, by virtue of being much faster, can facilitate the development of distributed computing.

The following components that are usually soldered unto a single motherboard would instead be separate modules:

1.      CPU
2.      Storage
3.      Memory

Thus the Server and potentially the PC of the future will no longer be an integrated Circuit board or motherboard with copper traces. Instead, future motherboards will possibly be  made of diamonds as noted in the article “Why Diamonds, Not Silicon, May Power Your Next Phone”, published July 11, 2016 By Kyle Wiggers, Digitaltrends.

This would make it possible to have cooler running circuit board, as diamond has excellent heat dissipating characteristics. These diamond motherboards with built in Fiber Optic connectors and module slots would make it possible to interconnect optical versions of the CPU, Storage and Memory to make PC, Laptops, Tablet and smartphones!

Intel and silicon photonics modules - Preserving Moore's Law by going Optical

You could basically mix and match silicon photonics modules in PC, Laptops, Tablet and smartphones on these diamond motherboards.

The result is faster devices that run at a cooler temperature, thereby preserving Moore's Law in the process as predicted in my blog article entitled “How Moore's Law can continue thanks to Graphene, Silicene, Diamonds and 3D Architecture”.

The result is cooler running modular computers that are smaller and consume less power, a huge benefit to server installation for in­memory database and ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications.

Intel, however, is predicting that Fiber optics technology will go mainstream in terms of computer architecture, replacing traditional copper wiring both within PC’s, Laptops, Tablets and smartphones.

With the coming of Li-Fi as explained in my blog article entitled “Why @UCBerkeley and @MIT Optical Processor means Li-Fi and 5G Wireless by 2020”, communications network will also be going optical, making it necessary for electronics to go optical in order to match with theses faster Telecoms Networks.

Intel's vision of the future will preserve Moore's Law, as photonic processors can be made to go faster and faster at cooler temperatures.

Silicon photonics modules and quantum Telecommunications - FTTH lays the groundwork for Optical Architecture

This transition to silicon photonics modules would also aid the transition to Quantum computing and quantum Telecommunications which the Chinese are experimenting with using the satellite Micius as detailed in my blog article entitled “China Micius QUESS satellite heralds Quantum Communications, encrypted Fiber Waveguides and Li-Fi”, being as most quantum computers use optics frequencies.

The groundwork is already being laid to make this all possible.

Fiber Optic is now being used in the home in the form of FTTH (Fiber to the Home) Networks such as Digicel Play in Jamaica and the Caribbean, now 35,000 subscribers strong as detailed in my Geezam blog article entitled “Digicel Play has 35,000 customers as FLOW Jamaica Horizon fails to impress”. 

Intel has been researching this technology for the past 16 years and has been held back by delays as well as the expense of the technology. But with the developement of hollow waveguides as reported in the article “Researchers create hollow fiber optic cable, almost reach the speed of light”, 26 March 2013 by Myriam Joire, Engadget, this will not only make Fiber optics cable lighter and cheaper but also make it possible to make them out of plastic.

Thumb drives and external storage devices would have to be designed to work without using electricity. Instead, they’d draw their power from the transmitted light or even ultrasound as described in my blog article entitled “Why Meredith Perry's Ubeam's Wireless Charging Future is a Good Vibration” in much the same way a USB Cable power the devices connect to the USB port.

Optical communications is the future of Telecoms, both in terms of Transmission Systems for 5G Networks as explained in my blog article entitled“Why @UCBerkeley and @MIT Optical Processor means Li-Fi and 5G Wireless by 2020” as well as the internal architecture of PC’s, Laptops, Tablets and smartphones.

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