Intel has announced a chip which uses the transmission of light to move data between devices at a cost competitive with existing components found inside of gadgets. This effectively brings fiber-optics to the level of being used within and between consumer devices, as contrasted with its current infrastructure use.
Intel has already been working on a fiber-optic patch cable for connecting home gadgets at 20 times current speeds; this new development will potentially increase current speeds by fifty times.
The Silicon Valley dot com website (part of the San Jose Mercury-News) describes it as follows:
But the chip it unveiled Tuesday, which sends data via four lasers, can hit 50 gigabits per second. And that’s just the beginning, according to (Intel CTO Justin) Rattner. By adding a few more lasers, the company expects to be able to boost that to perhaps 1,000 gigabits, he said.
At that rate, the company said, it could transmit the Library of Congress data in one and a half minutes.
There’s a picture of the chip and a pictogram of how it works at the link. From the picture, it appears to be about twice the size of a standard xD picture card.