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First light chip for communications developed


New York: Engineers, one of them of Indian-origin, have successfully developed a single-chip microprocessor that uses light for communications  – a landmark development that opens the door to ultrafast, low-power data crunching.

The researchers packed two processor cores with more than 70 million transistors and 850 photonic components onto a 3-by-6-millimetre chip.

They fabricated the microprocessor in a foundry that mass-produces vbhigh-performance computer chips, proving that their design can be easily and quickly scaled up for commercial production.

The new chip marks the next step in the evolution of fiber optic communication technology by integrating into a microprocessor the photonic interconnects, or inputs and outputs (I/O), needed to talk to other chips.

“This is a milestone. It’s the first processor that can use light to communicate with the external world,” said Vladimir Stojanovic, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at the University of California-Berkeley.

No other processor has the photonic I/O in the chip.

Stojanovic and fellow UC Berkeley professor Krste Asanovic teamed up with Rajeev Ram at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Milos Popovi at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to develop the new microprocessor.

“This is the first time we’ve put a system together at such scale, and have it actually do something useful, like run a programme,” added Asanovic.

The team found the chip had a bandwidth density of 300 gigabits per second per square millimeter, about 10 to 50 times greater than packaged electrical-only microprocessors currently on the market.

The photonic I/O on the chip is also energy-efficient.

The achievement opens the door to a new era of bandwidth-hungry applications.

One near-term application for this technology is to make data centres greener.

According to the US Natural Resources Defense Council, data centres consumed about 91 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2013 – about two percent of the total electricity consumed in the US.

The paper was published in the journal Nature. (IANS), (image

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JY Pillay: Indian Origin Civil Servant Appointed as the Acting President of Singapore

As CPA Chairman since 2005, Pillay has been acting President each time the President goes on an overseas trip

Acting President of Singapore
JY Pillay. Youtube
  • JY Pillay has been appointed as the acting President of Singapore
  • Pillay, also the Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, is a veteran civil servant of Indian Origin
  • The Singapore polls take place on 23rd September

September 2, 2017: Indian-origin veteran civil servant JY Pillay on Friday took over as Singapore’s acting President until a new head of the state is elected later this month.

The temporary appointment of Pillay, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA), follows the completion of President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s six-year term on Thursday, the Strait Times reported.

The nomination day for the Presidential election is September 13, followed by polling day on September 23.

According to the report, when the office of President is vacant, the first in line to exercise its powers is the CPA Chairman, followed by the Speaker of Parliament. This is the first time the office has fallen vacant since the elected presidency was introduced in 1991.

Pillay is no stranger to exercising the powers of the President. As CPA Chairman since 2005, he has been acting President each time the President goes on an overseas trip. He acted as President in May, when Tan made state visits to Europe.

He has served more than 60 such “stints”– the longest of which was 16 days in April and May of 2007 when then President SR Nathan visited Africa. (IANS)

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