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New Technologies to Lighten the Web's Energy Load

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The SPIDER-based chip integrates with silicon computer chips and is fabricated with the same methods.

Credit: Courtesy of LPETTET/iStockphoto

An international research team has developed a chip that promises to reduce the carbon footprint of the Internet's core telecommunications and computing technology.

The Spectral Phase Interferometry for Direct Electric-Field Reconstruction (SPIDER) chip enables optical communications systems to process signals in a way that overcomes opto-electronic conversion speed limitations. The SPIDER chip will enable all parts of the Internet, from long distance fiber-optic networks to silicon routing chips, to measure state-of-the-art signals where the phase of light is used to encode information.

The researchers say the SPIDER chip uses little energy and is ultrafast. The chip integrates with silicon computer chips and is fabricated using the same method, making it useful for photonic and electronic applications.

"Using the SPIDER technology, applications such as telecommunications, high-precision broadband sensing and spectroscopy, metrology, molecular fingerprinting, optical clocks, and even attosecond physics are all set for a major speed upgrade," says University of Sydney professor David Moss.

From ScienceAlert (Australia)
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