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  Date: 3rd Apr 2011

Altera to up the inter-chip communication speed by going optic

When the 3D and HD digital video is the type of data crossing devices and chips, the present copper interconnect may lack in serving the bandwidth thirst of both telecom backhaul equipments and also telecom terminal equipments which are now converged as smartphone and tablet computers. So to increase the bandwidth between chips optical interconnect is a potential replacement for copper wired bus. The challenge here is reducing the cost and making the design simple. IBM and Intel and many such companies are trying hard to put a light transmitter and receiver on silicon. The research is though progressing but not really reached a stage to bring it on to main production. The challenge here is fabricating a light-emitting device over CMOS semiconductor chip using simple process.

Now FPGA vendor Altera has announced plans for optically interconnected programmable devices. FPGA chips stream giga bytes of data across them using high speed transcievers. Now Altera is trying to put a direct optical interfaces instead of pure electric signal transceivers.

Altera says for computer and storage-intensive applications such as data centers, the integration of optical interfaces into device packages could replace pluggable optics and reduce power by 70 percent to 80 percent while increasing port density and bandwidth by orders of magnitude. In backplane applications in the military, communications infrastructure and broadcast areas, these connections will replace expensive board material and connectors, increase bandwidth significantly and eliminate the signal integrity issues associated with using copper-based solutions, adds Altera.


 
          
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