New optical chip could offer super-fast Internet


Anyone used to the speed of Australian broadband may find some sense of irony that physicists at the University of Sydney have developed an optical chip which could be capable of making the Internet up to 100 times faster than at present.

Chalcogenide glass photonic chips (my spell checker only liked “glass” and “chips” there) are relatively cheap to produce from plain glass crystals, and could theoretically allow networks to move data at 640Gb (80GB) per second — that’s about 17 DVDs or 2 Blu-ray discs every second. These speeds are achieved by operating optically rather than using traditional electronic components…