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Boffins come up with low power optical waveguide switch



Just add germanium
Boffins working for Fujitsu have emerged from their smoke-filled labs having creating a optical waveguide switch which uses half the electricity of previous efforts.

The switch is based on silicon photonics and uses fine-patterned silicon germanium rather than conventional silicon. The move allows for high-speed optical switches capable of operating across a wide range of wavelengths, while featuring the world's lowest power requirements.

As more data has been sent over networks,  the power consumption of networking equipment has been going flat out and could create a serious energy problem for our children and small white fluffy polar bears in the future. Fujitsu said that the technology will help contain power consumption while supporting large-volume network traffic, thus enabling high-end services linking multiple cloud networks and ultra-high-definition videoconferencing.

Apparently details of this technology will be presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the IEEE Photonics Society (PHO 2010), being held from November 7-11 in Denver, Colorado, US  we are not going because we are washing our hair that weekend [or in your case polishing your head.ed].
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