One of the biggest bottlenecks with technology is the tension between the speed of processing data and the speed of sending that data. As we all know, ever since the launch of first computer processors of the late 1960s, the first integrated circuit based computer chips in the late sixties up to today Moore’s law prevails. Moore’s law basically says that the processing speed and power of the computer will continue to increase with time. Put more specifically, Moore’s law says that the number of the transistors that can be put into integrated chips will double approximately every two years. This law was based on a paper published by one of the founders of Intel Corporation, Gordon Moore.
According to Moore, this trend is due to the better manufacturing and better integrated circuit design. While this is called Moore’s law, it is not a physical law nor a scientific law because if it is a scientific or physical law, it would be a rock solid prediction rather than just an observation. So far, it’s held true but it may slow down later in the future because there are certain hardware limits and physical limits to just how fast the computer chip can go. Be that as it may, thanks to Moore’s law and better chip manufacturing technology, computer chips became faster and more powerful with each passing year. The problem is getting that data that those processors work on to where that data needs to go is very slow. The fastest that we can send right now is to fiber optic cable and it may not be as fast as what’s needed. Why? Because if you have a huge data network and there’s a lot of heavy data work, this data needs to be moved and transmitted very quickly to maximize the processing power. As a result, there’s a massive bottleneck in most data centers and research centers. It looks like help is on the way.
Based on research conducted at The University of Illinois’s Electrical and Engineering Department, the solution comes in the form of lasers. When you use the speed of light through highly focused lasers, data transmission rates of up to forty gigabits per second are possible. This may be the next step for data transmission race. Of course, seeing this technology invented in a university lab is exciting but it would probably take several years before we can even come close to this speed for home data transmission but even getting close to it would be nice. If there is anything that we know, when technology reaches a certain speed, consumers always step up their consumption patterns in such a way that excessive speed becomes a deficit. For example, prior to the priority of YouTube and video sites, there was a lot of infrastructure building and huge fights laid down by phone companies.
A lot of critic industries said at that time that this is a form of wasting their money because of this excess data handling capability— there’s not enough content to fill the pipes. When YouTube and video sites blossomed, guess what, those pipes are filled and we now have a wireless LTE. That’s how fast technology moves so I would not be surprised even if a laser-powered data transmission technology is a standard that those pipes will be filled as well.