The idea is to stop using those sluggish electrons, and switch to those speed demon photons.  This won’t be an easy switch, but it may be needed to keep the increase in speed that we have become accustomed to.  If it can be done, a prototype silicon laser modulator that can achieve 40Gbs is very impressive, and necessary to have a photonic IC.  Slashdot has the news flash.
“Intel Researchers announced they have successfully demonstrated a 40Gbps optical chip, an accomplishment the company says will yield cheaper photonic integrated circuits. ‘chip makers have shown a keen interest in photonic integrated circuits (PICs) over the past few years because of their ability to provide a cost-effective solution for optical communication and future optical interconnects in computing industry. There are obstacles, though: One of the key components needed for silicon PICs is the very high-speed silicon optical modulator, which is used to encode data on optical beam.”

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Click Here to go to Processors   Processors