Wednesday, May 29, 2013

No. 723: NTT develops a technology to halve LSI’s power consumption (May 30, 2013)

NTT developed a technology to halve the power consumption of an LSI. The new technology uses light in place of electrons to send and receive signals. A semiconductor element with a new structure proved that signals can be sent by light at reduced power consumption. The newly-developed semiconductor element sends out signals of 10 gigabits per second. It can oscillate laser at 5.5 fj (femto joule) per bit in terms of energy. It was necessary to reduce energy consumption to less than 10 fj for the signal transmission using light, but the traditional technology was not able to reduce energy consumption to less than 80 fj. Large energy consumption for the oscillation of laser needed to be solved.

NTT’s research team built an originally-designed element with its self-developed semiconductor that sends out laser beam and confirmed that it can send information by light signals. Exchange of signals between transistors is required for the information processing inside an LSI. The new technology reduced this energy consumption considerably, halving LSI’s power consumption in the long run. NTT plans to a technology to connect LSIs on an electronic substrate by light signals in six years and connect transistors in nine years. This NTT’s achievement was published on the May 26 issue of the Nature Photonics of Great Britain. 

The next-generation video conference system 
being developed by NTT

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