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Has silicon reached its limit?

Davidson, Alan and Glesk, Ivan and Buis, Adrianus (2014) Has silicon reached its limit? Advances in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 12 (6). pp. 590-598. ISSN 1336-1376

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Abstract

In light of the rapidly increasing demand for ultra-high speed data transmission, data centres are under pressure to provide ever increasing data transmission through their networks and at the same time improve the quality of data handling in terms of reduced latency, increased scalability and improved channel speed for users. However as data rates increase, present electronic switching technology using current data centre architecture is becoming increasingly difficult to scale despite improvements in data management. In this paper the tremendous bandwidth potential of optical fibre based networks will be explored alongside the issues of electronic scalability and switching speed. A resulting need for alternative optical solutions for all-optical signal processing systems will be discussed. With this in mind, progress in the form of a novel and highly scalable optical interconnect will be reviewed.