Sign In

Communications of the ACM


Silicon Photonics: Ready to Go the Distance?

Silicon Photonics, illustrative photo

Clear curve fibers on a silicon photonics wafer.

Credit: Jeffrey Tseng / Intel

Although photons of light dominate the long-distance information superhighways of the Internet, electrons remain the workhorses that move and process information at the local level. Visionaries have imagined for decades that power-efficient light-based communication would migrate to ever-shorter distances and eventually move onto silicon chips alongside transistors at the centimeter scale.

After more than a decade of research and development, chips with onboard photonics are poised to enter the marketplace. Rather than connecting nearby electronic circuits, however, these devices aim to provide high-bandwidth connections over hundreds of meters or longer. Some devices could provide customized solutions for servers and exascale computing, whereas others target the large but cost-sensitive data center market.


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account