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May 18th, 2005
Much of our electronics could soon be replaced by photonics, in which beams of light flitting through microscopic channels on a silicon chip replace electrons in wires. Photonic chips would carry more data, use less power and work smoothly with fiber-optic communications systems. The trick is to get electronics and photonics to talk to each other.
Now Cornell University researchers have taken a major step forward in bridging this communication gap by developing a silicon device that allows an electrical signal to modulate a beam of light on a micrometer scale.
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