New Intel technology to make it possible to download an HD movie in a second

As the technology industry prepares for the adoption of USB 3.0 (in anticipation of the increased speeds), Intel has been hard at work on technology that will be far faster. In fact, it is capable of transferring the entire printed catalog of material within the Library of Congress in only a minute and a half. The technology makes use of silicon and light to achieve this incredible feat.

According to Gizmodo via Intel Tech Research, “Intel detailed their breakthrough to the press at an event today, marking the milestone of impressive 50 gigabits per second transfer speeds using an underlying technology that could go much, much further. We've covered the promise of fiber optic speeds before, but nothing like this. Intel CTO Justin Rattner explained just what "silicon photonics" even means, why the world needs it, and what it promises in the near future.”

Silicon Photonics

Image Credit: Gizmodo

Silicon photonics may sound something out of a science fiction story, but it is nothing more than the combination of silicon and optical technologies. Because of the fact that it uses existing technology, Silicon photonics can be made very affordable. This technology works by converting electrons into photons and back again. Once the photons become electrons, the electronics work the same way that they have since their invention (using electrical current to flip transistors on or off – thus resulting in digital 0’s and 1’s).

What makes this technology even more impressive is the process of encoding data into laser streams on wiring that is on the same size scale as your fingernail. During the process, the streams converge and move along a fiber optic strand. When they arrive at their destination, they get decoded back to electrons.

This technology may seem like overkill, but imagine the future when more and more data needs transferred back and forth. Every aspect of our lives is becoming more and more digitized and only so much of that data can be managed at one time on existing technology. As we approach the area of 10 gigabit per second speeds, copper wiring becomes useless. The quality of the data that is transferred over the copper is degraded beyond usefulness.

However, the speed of light is the fastest speed currently known to physics and Intel can use this to an advantage. As it stands now, they can already transfer an entire movie or 100 hours of music in one second. If they manage to hit their theoretical 1 terabit per second limit, it would be possible to backup an entire hard drive in that same timeframe (one second). It may be a while before we see this technology, but the potential is game changing.

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84 Comments

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HeLGeN-X said,
Imagine the porn viewing possibilities. You could seek through megaupload video files in no time.

Dunno about you, but I can do without HD porn, they airbrush those girls for a reason. Although the download speed would be nice.

Soviet said,

Dunno about you, but I can do without HD porn, they airbrush those girls for a reason. Although the download speed would be nice.

ROFL!

This does not seem to actually be talking about broadband internet, but rather USB-wise file transfer...

So you'll be able to upload an entire HD movie from your internal hard drive to your external

ArmedMonkey said,
This does not seem to actually be talking about broadband internet, but rather USB-wise file transfer...

So you'll be able to upload an entire HD movie from your internal hard drive to your external

That's how I read it as well. But the technology could certainly have countless uses as it matures as well... Though initially this would, I feel, be the first logical step, once it gains ground and begins being implemented in infrastructure, anything could really happen.

Yeah, Intel can live in their fantasy world that will never happen. ISP's hardly give any speed as it is. Its all hype.

All we need now are computers that will be able to handle the processing of Zipping the Internet in a single file - Hope Gmail will allow for archives that big soon

"However, the speed of light is the fastest speed currently known to physics and Intel can use this to an advantage."

Compared to what? What advantage? What speed do you think electron based information travels through a copper wire? The speed of sound?

monkey13 said,
"However, the speed of light is the fastest speed currently known to physics and Intel can use this to an advantage."

Compared to what? What advantage? What speed do you think electron based information travels through a copper wire? The speed of sound?

Electrons travel through matter (Copper) in a zig zag, meaning that it is not a direct path, and a lot of energy is wasted. It's nowhere near the speed of light.

OMG...don't keep on telling us how fast intel can make the faster speed....Just quickly put USB3.0

into mainstream first,because we couldn't even figure out this stuff will even work as we expect!!!!

You know, I cant help but feel this is a little overkill until other technologies catch up. So yeah, you can transfer 50gb/s but do we have HDD's that can read/write 50gb/s? I mean currently some of the fastest HDD write speeds are in the 215+MB/s range, which is roughly 1.6Gb/s. So your talking about a transfer speed up to 31x faster then can be physically written to a HDD. So assuming you use a RAM buffer you would still hit a bottleneck in terms of storing the data being that "most" people have HDD's with 8MB-32MB ram buffers.

I dont anticipate any practical use of this technology until we see a leap forward in storage devices to match. Still its always nice to see these amazing proof of concept demo's.

Without iTunes locking up/freezing during the sync too please. TBH anything is better than the 3-4mb every 20 seconds which my iTunes currently transfers at.

Lamp0 said,
I am confused.. is this just a new cable or...

Not quite. Instead, the cable is replaced with a light beam (or series of light beams). The ends of the cables would instead be locations that turn photons into electrons and back again.

Like explained in the article, a copper wire cable is not capable of reaching these speeds. At 10 gigabits per second, the data becomes too degraded to be usable.

ir0nw0lf said,
A HD movie in one second? 50 gigabit/sec = 6.25 GB/sec. How is that a HD movie in one second?

720p at least.

3 years time....
Silicon photonics released to general public
1 month later...
customers world wide irate over going over ISP download cap on first day.

So? This will never make it to the consumer anytime in the next decade or two. Gigabit connections are only being tapped out by those with high-speed SSD's. Mechanical drives are still limited to around 100MB/s or so of actual throughput which is about gigabit speeds.

The largest problem lays within our public information network. Most people get internet via Cable or DSL. Until Fiber Optic lines are laid down to the masses, consumer speed is capped.

Brandon said,
So? This will never make it to the consumer anytime in the next decade or two. Gigabit connections are only being tapped out by those with high-speed SSD's. Mechanical drives are still limited to around 100MB/s or so of actual throughput which is about gigabit speeds.

The largest problem lays within our public information network. Most people get internet via Cable or DSL. Until Fiber Optic lines are laid down to the masses, consumer speed is capped.

Why the "So ?" ? It's a tech news website ...

In fact, it is capable of transferring the entire printed catalog of material within the Library of Congress in only a minute and a half.

I HATE who does this.

50 gigabits per second x 90 seconds / 8 bites...
562.5 GB
(only that?? did I miss something, or for my entire live the default "large amount of data" was only 500G??)

Maybe it's just plain text in which case 562GB of text files would constitute a TON of data. LOL....imagine a 562GB text file opened in notepad. Your computer would start on fire!

aristofeles said,

I HATE who does this.

50 gigabits per second x 90 seconds / 8 bites...
562.5 GB
(only that?? did I miss something, or for my entire live the default "large amount of data" was only 500G??)

It says "printed catalog of material". I think this means the titles/authors/dates and such of all the media. I think of those things when I hear 'catalog'.

Again a very superficial article. Quality of writing is decaying at a fast pace over here

Server-level use for this is way more important. Data speeds are actually high enough to for example put processors and memory in a different rack, interconnecting them with this.

IntelliMoo said,
Future article, "Even newer DRM technology makes Intel technology impossible to download an HD movie at all" heh

I laughed.

IntelliMoo said,
Future article, "Even newer DRM technology makes Intel technology impossible to download an HD movie at all" heh

Further article, "Hacker achieves to bypass newest DRM technology that made Intel technology impossible to download an HD movie at all"

Who needs discs that are prone to being damaged when you can keep your entire movie and music collection on one small device that is much harder to break and transfers files at blistering speeds. Its also friendlier to the environment, less waste and less to recycle. Its a win win!

DKcomputers said,
Who needs discs that are prone to being damaged when you can keep your entire movie and music collection on one small device that is much harder to break and transfers files at blistering speeds. Its also friendlier to the environment, less waste and less to recycle. Its a win win!

Ummmm... like which device are we talking about again?

zeta_immersion said,
download the entire piratebay on a floppy ... fell yea

That must be one of them new prototype Quintuple Density Extremely Thick and Large floppies.

Metodi Mitov said,

That must be one of them new prototype Quintuple Density Extremely Thick and Large floppies.


yeah, or QDETL Floppies for short.

Yeah, as wonderful as this all is, it will be severely limited to read and write speeds of hard disks... Whick even with SSDs, it's going to take a long time to catch up.....

King Antonius said,
Yeah, as wonderful as this all is, it will be severely limited to read and write speeds of hard disks... Whick even with SSDs, it's going to take a long time to catch up.....

If you VERY quickly detach the ends of an optic cable and tape them up... the light will be captured in a never-ending loop, which we can then store lots of data very quickly. Simple disconnect the loop and reconnect to send the data back! Be careful not to spill the lights out though.

King Antonius said,
Yeah, as wonderful as this all is, it will be severely limited to read and write speeds of hard disks... Whick even with SSDs, it's going to take a long time to catch up.....

Yep sadly

so basically this technology is something that might be in use WAYYYY down the road from now because currently Hard Drives are the main problem.

because i am sure it's hard to get speed AND capacity which seems the trade off right now as you either go with a standard hard drive for overall capacity/speed balance or go for speed with SSD but then price goes way up along with alot less storage space.

lt8480 said,

If you VERY quickly detach the ends of an optic cable and tape them up... the light will be captured in a never-ending loop, which we can then store lots of data very quickly. Simple disconnect the loop and reconnect to send the data back! Be careful not to spill the lights out though.

...This made me laugh.

King Antonius said,
Yeah, as wonderful as this all is, it will be severely limited to read and write speeds of hard disks... Whick even with SSDs, it's going to take a long time to catch up.....

Well, this will probably make its way to the ISPs in the next few years. Final users will need to wait for a long time...

Glendi said,

What? You mean all of ThePirateBay.

Yeah, you'd get nothing but the torrents since they don't actually host the content lol I know what you mean't though.

Neoauld said,
Oh mang, i cant wait to get some torrents on this

well, by all means, do make an example of the stereotypical pirate, mang...hell, while you're at it, post your ip, mang...MANG? WTF? HAHAHAHAHA.....lamest post evar! Hence the reason I lurk so much....never know what kind of entertainment you're in for XD

Neoauld said,
Oh mang, i cant wait to get some torrents on this
Just watch how Intel releases this in 10 years after getting us drooling over this technology now. It's all about money for these corporations.

Jebadiah said,
Just watch how Intel releases this in 10 years after getting us drooling over this technology now. It's all about money for these corporations.

Shame on them for wanting to make money! How can they be such *******? Hey, by the by, Jebadiah, what is it that you do? Any kind of production or retail? Do give me some contact info so I can drop by and get some stuff for free.

Neoauld said,
Oh mang, i cant wait to get some torrents on this

I don't think this relates to the net - just data transfer from a device?