News: Portfolio 2008

A Super-Cool Chip

Lightwire introduces the new information transmission technology at conference.

A Lehigh Valley company has unveiled a breakthrough computer chip that uses existing materials in a novel way to speed up the flow of data between computers.

Lightwire of Upper Macungie Township announced Monday it has produced a silicon-based optical transceiver that converts light to electricity and back at 10 billion bits of data per second. The combination technology is attractive because silicon chips process information well, while traditional optical chips are ideal for carrying data at high speeds and over long distances.

The company, and its competitors, have been working for the better part of the decade to find a faster, cheaper and more compact way to send data between computers. Indeed, IBM and Luxtera have proposed competing solutions, while Intel, the world's largest chip company, is hard at work on the technology, which is critical as the demand for bandwidth grows.