announced today that it has fabricated the first silicon laser modulator to encode optical data at 40Gbps, making it 40 times faster than some of the most sophisticated data networks. The company has been working on silicon-based modulators -- key elements in using lasers as a means of fiber optic data transfer -- for years, creating a 1Gbps version in 2004, and then a 10Gbps iteration in 2006
. Intel currently spends thousands producing the modulators now, but it hopes to drive down costs in the near future, allowing for integrated silicon photonic circuits to be built featuring upwards of 25 individual 40Gbps modules, enabling transmissions of terabits
of data in seconds. So what does all this scientific doublespeak mean for the hard working computer users of the world? Well let's just say that "stuff" is going to be getting "fast" sooner than you think.