It seems like every tale of impending bandwidth "disaster" is soon countered by a new bandwidth "breakthrough." In this case, researchers at Intel have been testing a silicon-based Avalanche Photo Detector (APD) (as opposed to the traditional, and rather expensive, indium phosphide), and so far results have been quite promising. On one key metric, something called the "gain-bandwidth product," the APD achieved speeds of 340GHz, or as the gang at Intel puts it, the "best result ever." It is hoped that this product could significantly lower the price of 40Gbit/s (and faster) optical links and find a home in areas like quantum cryptography, biochips and eventually chip-to-chip and on-chip interconnects. And most importantly, this could be huge for our national entertainment infrastructure: with online television gaining momentum and a spin-off of The Hills dropping soon, bandwidth has to be stretched to the breaking point as it is.

[Via VNU Net]

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Intel's opto-electronic 'breakthrough' could save this doomed Internet (or not)