Intel uses silicon photonics for faster data transfer over long distances

Intel has developed a device, called the Avalance Photodetector (APD), that will boost optical communication speeds to get devices to communicate faster. The APD senses light pulses and amplifies output signals for faster data transfer over long distances.

Researchers claim that this is a big advancement in the field of silicon photonics, where silicon is used to transfer light pulses for data exchange between chips and devices.  Technologies like APDs could enable high-bandwidth applications like 3D virtual reality and telemedicine.

APD can detect light at higher frequencies and moves data at rates of 40Gbps, an advancement over earlier photodetectors. It also uses less electrical power than standard photodetectors. Another plus is that the APD is made of standard silicon material, instead of a more expensive alternative like indium phosphide.

In the future, APD could be used by telecommunication providers to amplify long-distance phone calls. For now, we’ll have to stick with what we have because the APD is still in development as additional research is needed.