Tech UPTechnologyIBM creates ultra-fast optical circuits

IBM creates ultra-fast optical circuits

ibm-nano IBM scientists have taken a giant leap in the world of electronics ultrafast circuits that use light to communicate . The device that makes this possible, called an avalanche nanophotonic photodetector , could have great implications for the future of electronics, since it allows to replace electrical signals with optical signals and send much more information between chips while consuming less energy.

The IBM invention explores the so-called “avalanche effect” in germanium, a material currently used alongside silicon in the production of microprocessors. Similar to an avalanche that begins with a small pile of snow, a pulse of light (photon) releases an electron, which cascades until the original signal is amplified thousands or even millions of times, as in a “detachment”. This results in a device capable of receiving signals at 40 gigabytes per second and multiplying them by 10. What’s more, the speedy device operates on a power of just 1.5 volts, which will allow it to run on AA batteries .

On the other hand, taking into account that the materials used to build it are silicon and germanium, and that the current standard manufacturing processes would also be valid for the new photodetectors, they could begin to be used almost immediately, according to its creators in the journal Nature .

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