Can Silicon Photonics Transform Data Centers?

Newish on the data-transmission scene, silicon photonics is an electrifying technology that promises inexpensive, mass-produced optical components through photonics integration – it transfers data among computer chips by optical rays that transports more data in less time than electrical conductors. Since the first commercial product was introduced in 2005, the last decade has seen remarkable progress in technology and development.

A main application area for silicon photonics is cloud data centers, whose footprints continue to grow substantially to accommodate massive amounts of servers and switches. Starting in 2016, many hyperscale cloud content and service providers, such as Facebook and Microsoft, began deploying 100G Ethernet using singlemode optics-based infrastructure in their new data centers to bolster up business growth.

100G Ethernet data center deployment has drawn attention to silicon photonics; many of these singlemode transceiver modules are made with silicon photonics technology.

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