Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fast laser could revolutionize data communications

Date:
March 6, 2011
Source:
Expertanswer
Summary:
Researchers have shown that a surface emitting laser – a cheaper and more energy-efficient type of laser for fiber optics than conventional lasers – can deliver error-free data at a record speed of 40 Gbit/s. The breakthrough could lead to faster Internet traffic, computers and mobile phones.

Researchers at Chalmers in Sweden have shown that a surface emitting laser -- a cheaper and more energy-efficient type of laser for fiber optics than conventional lasers -- can deliver error-free data at a record speed of 40 Gbit/s. The break-through could lead to faster Internet traffic, computers and mobile phones.

Today's commercial lasers can send up to 10 Gb of data per second (Gbit/s) through optical fibers. This applies to both conventional lasers and to surface emitting lasers. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have managed to increase the speed of the surface emitting laser four times, and see potential for further capacity increase.

This research will create great opportunities, not only for different types of local networks and supercomputers, but also for consumer electronics. By using multiple (parallel) channels computer cables with a total capacity of several hundred Gbit/s can be constructed.

"The market for this technology is gigantic. In the huge data centers that handle the Internet there are today over one hundred million surface emitting lasers. That figure is expected to increase a hundredfold," says Professor Anders Larsson, who has developed the high speed laser together with his research group in optoelectronics.

Unlike a conventional laser the light from a surface emitting laser is emitted from the surface of the laser chip (not from the edge), like in an LED. The gain is the ability to not only fabricate, but also test, the lasers on the wafer (a 75 mm wide substrate of semiconductor material of industrial type) before it is cut into individual chips for assembly. The lasers work directly where they sit on the wafer. Conventional lasers work only after partition. The ability to test up to 100 000 lasers on a wafer reduces the cost of production to one tenth compared with conventional lasers.

The laser volume is smaller. It requires less power without losing speed. The energy and power consumption is a tenth of what a conventional laser requires at 40 Gbit/s -- only a few hundred fJ/bit. If Anders Larsson and co-workers succeed in their development he expects that the power consumption of a complete optical link, between eg circuits in a computer (including drive electronics and receiver) will be no more than 100 fJ/bit.

"The laser's unique design makes it cheap to produce, while it transmits data at high rates with low power consumption," Anders Larsson sums up.

The combination is unique, and opens up to a large-scale transition from electrical cables to optical cables in computers, and to side equipment, as a substitute for USB cables, for instance. Electric wires can handle up to a few Gbit/s. One can easily imagine dramatic performance gains in mobile phones and other electronics ahead. Most imminent are applications in supercomputers and the type of large data centers run by Google, eBay and Amazon.

"Here we are heading for a power catastrophe. The data centers represent a few percents of America's entire electricity consumption," says Anders Larsson.

The next step for the Chalmers researchers is to modify the design and refine the ways to control the laser, to increase speed and reduce power consumption even further.

"We strive to meet market demands ten years from now," says Anders Larsson, who estimates that we by 2020 will need energy-efficient cables that can handle 100 Gbit/s per channel.

The research is performed at the Chalmers research center FORCE. It is funded by Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, SSF, and by the EU through the project VISIT. Participating companies in the European project are IQE Europe (UK), VI Systems (Germany) and Intel (Ireland). Informal partners in the project are Tyco Electronics and Ericsson (both Sweden). The findings are published in Electronics Letters from IEEE Explore.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Westbergh, J.S. Gustavsson, B. Kögel, Å. Haglund, A. Larsson, A. Mutig, A. Nadtochiy, D. Bimberg, A. Joel. 40 Gbit/s error-free operation of oxide-confined 850 nm VCSEL. Electronics Letters, 2010; 46 (14): 1014 DOI: 10.1049/el.2010.1405

Cite This Page:

Expertanswer. "Fast laser could revolutionize data communications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110304091857.htm>.
Expertanswer. (2011, March 6). Fast laser could revolutionize data communications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110304091857.htm
Expertanswer. "Fast laser could revolutionize data communications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110304091857.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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