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'Optical engine' moves through the gears

05 Oct 2009

Embedded optical-engine technology will underpin high-speed interconnect applications.

Avago Technologies, a supplier of analogue interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, has unveiled what it claims is a "ground-breaking embedded optical engine technology" to enable high-speed connectivity in a range of electronic, computing and consumer applications.

The first application to use the technology is Intel's Light Peak, an optical-fibre cable technology announced last month at the annual Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, CA.

Put simply, Light Peak is a high-speed optical interconnect designed to run multiple existing I/O protocols on a single cable connecting many electronic devices – displays, disk drives, peripherals and docking stations.

The technology delivers high bandwidth, starting at 10 Gbit/s with the potential to scale to 100 Gbit/s over the next decade. At 10 Gbit/s, a full-length Blu-ray movie can be transferred in less than 30 s.

"With an extra thin profile of 2 mm and power consumption of 135 mW per 10 Gbit/s channel, the Avago optical engine will fit in confined spaces – an essential requirement for computing and consumer electronic devices," said Philip Gadd, vice-president and general manager of Avago's fibre-optic products division.

According to Intel, initial Light Peak optical components will be ready to ship in 2010.

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