Adding Speed to the Information Super Highway
Our need to access and transmit information is growing exponentially. At the heart of this massive communication data flow are thousands of interconnected computers that provide everything from better weather forecasting to more effective search engines.
The challenge is to increase the transmission capacity while reducing the amount of energy needed to make the system work. Data communication is currently impaired by an inability to take advantage of current and future computing capabilities. Major concerns exist about the operating costs and associated gas emissions involved in generating energy to power large computing facilities. Such Internet pollution is already considerable and is expected to grow steadily as data demands rise.
Processors that are optically interconnected make it possible to transfer large amounts of data at the speed of light, but energy efficiency still needs to be improved to sustain future computing capabilities.
Dr. Odile Liboiron-Ladouceur, Canada Research Chair in Photonic Interconnects, is working on the development of device integration and interconnection architectures that use photonic (or optical) technologies. The process will allow large amounts of data to be transferred at the speed of light.
The results of Liboiron-Ladouceur’s photonic technology research will be applied to support next-generation computing platforms at the device and architecture levels. Her research will allow powerful computing infrastructures to be supported in a more energy-efficient manner and enable applications that were previously believed unfeasible to come closer to reality.