Electronics & Photonics Solutions Group: Grand Challenge

New wireless and optical communication technologies for 100x more Efficient Interconnects

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Fiber optic communication has revolutionized the spread of digital information. Today, nearly all long-distance data traffic is transmitted as light using photonic technology with over 50 Tbit/s of data sent down a single optical fiber. The Internet presently consumes about 2% of global energy use, and with its rapid growth of over 40% per year large increases in the efficiency of these digital "super highways," is essential. The multiple conversions of signals from optical to electrical and back to optical are energy intensive, slow, and scale poorly. We need a faster, more flexible, and more efficient global network to keep up.

The Institute for Energy Efficiency’s Electronics and Photonics Solutions Group creates technologies that address these hardware-based issues by bringing the advantages of photonics – energy efficiency, low-cost, and high capacity – to every level of digital communication.

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