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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


2.11.2004

Silicon Photonics 

Hang on to those fiber optic stocks! The New York Times has a fascinating report about an announcement from Intel today that has huge implications for the future of telecommunications and computing.
Intel scientists say that they have made silicon chips that can switch light like electricity, blurring the line between computing and communications and presenting a vision of the digital future that will allow computers themselves to span cities or even the entire globe.

They have prototyped a device which integrates glass fiber optics into silicon creating an optical modulator that can push over 2 billion bits per second. This technology lays the groundwork for extremely high-speed networks which could span the globe connecting massive grid processors. Individual nodes could be distributed across the planet with no noticeable decay in data transmission. They suggest that this technology will blur the lines between computing and communications.
Intel plans on demonstrating a working system transmitting a movie in high-definition television over a five-mile coil of fiberoptic cable next week at its annual Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

Yet more proof that the global mind is emerging and asserting itself through technology. We grow more and more connected as our mental faculties become increasingly augmented by silicon processors and information networks. The organic nature of the web seems to be charting its own evolution in much the same way that the human brain develops - a chaotic mess of interconnections and redundancies giving rise to vast emergent behaviors. Moving global networks to optical is like feeding smart drugs to the global mind. Before long processor clusters will be built on quantum chips programmed by DNA algorithms and transmitting information globally as light through glass fiber. Hang on to your hats!


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