Many items in everyday use - such as mobile phones and laptop computers - exist because of research carried out in photonics. At the UKs University of Cambridge, several academic groups have joined with industrial partners to investigate the different aspects of photonics, applications and materials in a new Centre for Molecular Materials for Photonics and Electronics (CMMPE).
Foundry Networks has announced interface modules for three existing product families. BigIron Layer 3 switches, FastIron Layer 2/3 switches and NetIron metro routers will use the JetCore-based modules to provide high-density 100 Mbps ethernet connectivity over multimode and singlemode optical fibre.
A self-timed microchip has been developed by scientists in the UK to make smartcards more secure.
Today's state-of-the-art chips have transistors roughly a micrometre in overall length. But this very success has brought the chipmakers to the brink of a steep, new obstacle to further gains in performance
Optical fibres regularly carry billions of phone conversations and other data transmissions every day and are a fundamental part of optical sensing and numerous medical applications. The photonic devices responsible for this traffic are being made even more efficient and versatile by handing over some of the switching and reconfiguring chores to the fibres themselves - the trunk lines linking all the optical nodes.
A molecular switch took only 47 zepto-joules to operate in a recent experiment, 10,000 times less than transistor switches used in current high-speed computers. The molecular switch consists of rotating one of the four phenyl legs attached to a complicated porphyrin molecule from one stable position to another.