Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optoelectronic Integration Overcoming Processor Bottlenecks

Date:
August 4, 2005
Source:
IST Results
Summary:
One of the biggest obstacles facing computer systems today is the problem of memory latency, the time a computer must wait to access the data stored in memory despite faster processor speeds. Two demonstrators reveal that optoelectronics may offer solutions.

One of the biggest obstacles facing computer systems today is theproblem of memory latency, the time a computer must wait to access thedata stored in memory despite faster processor speeds. Twodemonstrators reveal that optoelectronics may offer solutions.

Related Articles


"Your domestic PC these days can have a processor of two GHz andfaster -- this is quite common -- but the processor power will often bewasted because the real bottleneck in computer processing is thememory." That is John Snowdon of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh,speaking about the objectives of the HOLMS project.

"Optoelectronic technologies are the only way to bridge the presentgap between processor speed and memory bandwidth," says John Snowdon ofHeriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, of the HOLMS IST project. "Thishas been documented by the SIA, the Semiconductor Industry Associationin the US."

"Your domestic PC these days can have a processor of two GHz andfaster -- this is quite common -- but the processor power will often bewasted because the real bottleneck in computer processing is thememory," he says.

As a result participants in HOLMS set out to make the use ofboard-level optical interconnection in information systems practicaland economical. They aimed to develop optoelectronic technology to thepoint where it would be compatible with standard electronic assemblyprocesses. HOLMS focused on two key areas of optical technology: aseamless opto-mechanical interface to commercial parallel-fibre arrays,and low-cost optical waveguides that could be easily integrated intoconventional printed circuit boards (PCBs).

"What is key about HOLMS is our work on optoelectronic packaging --how to make optoelectronic technologies more compatible with market andindustry needs," he continues. "We were able to take the signals from afibre and push them into a high-bandwidth free-space opticalconnection, one which is capable of addressing many electronicprocessors simultaneously. So the latency is as low as you can get --essentially we're working at light speed with many thousands ofchannels."

The key achievement of HOLMS, believes Snowdon, was the project'ssuccess in integrating fibre-optics with free-space technologies andoptical PCBs -- to form a powerful three-part optoelectronic interface."We started from a pioneering research point-of-view, but with acommercial goal -- that's why we have so many industrial partners. Thislevel of integration has not been achieved before outside thelaboratory."

HOLMS ends in September 2005, and the participants have developedtwo working demonstrators to show the functional aspects of thetechnology. The two main university partners, Hagen University(Germany) and Heriot-Watt, are both integrating the knowledge gainedinto their academic research.

Several of the industrial partners, including ILFA (PCBmanufacturer) and Siemens of Germany, and Thales in France, haveincorporated the results into their product development. Thales isinvestigating the potential of HOLMS' optoelectronics technology foruse in very-high-speed embedded systems in defence applications, whileSiemens is believed to be developing a high-bandwidth optical waveguidePCB that could be on the market in as little as two years.

"It is the potential of this technology for the domestic marketsthat is so exciting," says Snowdon. "This kind of technology could bebuilt into the everyday PC within just two generations of development,which is no time at all."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by IST Results. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

IST Results. "Optoelectronic Integration Overcoming Processor Bottlenecks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050804053723.htm>.
IST Results. (2005, August 4). Optoelectronic Integration Overcoming Processor Bottlenecks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050804053723.htm
IST Results. "Optoelectronic Integration Overcoming Processor Bottlenecks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050804053723.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
White House: Sony Hack a 'serious National Security Matter'

White House: Sony Hack a 'serious National Security Matter'

AFP (Dec. 18, 2014) White House spokesperson Josh Earnest says cyber attacks that ultimately prompted Sony Pictures to scrap the release of a madcap comedy about North Korea are a "serious national security matter." Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins