Moore's Law has set great expectations that the performance of information technology will improve exponentially until the end of the next decade. Although the physics of silicon transistors alone might allow these expectations to be met, the physics of the metal wires that connect these transistors almost certainly will not. We will describe a Si-compatible global interconnect architecture that could precipitate an "optical Moore's Law" and allow exponential performance gains until the transistors themselves become the bottleneck. Based on similar fabrication techniques and technologies, we will also present an approach to an optically-coupled quantum information processor for computation beyond Moore's Law, encouraging the development of practical applications of quantum information technology for commercial utilization.
It's 50 years since the birth of the laser and to mark the imminent anniversary physicsworld.com will be cranking up its coverage of photonic science, technologies and applications over the coming weeks.
For starters, there's our latest video exclusive, a vox pop with faculty and students at the Stanford Photonics Research Center (SPRC), part of Stanford University in California and home to one of largest photonics research programmes in the US.
SPRC's Ginzton Laboratory is the focal point for that programme and an interdisciplinary research team that comprises around 40 professors and 200 graduate students and postdocs. Theirs is a wide-ranging brief – SPRC working groups span information technology, telecommunications, integrated photonics, microscopy, neuroscience and solar cells – though with a common objective: to partner with industry to bring innovative photonic technologies to market.