Space & Innovation

Can Lasers Make the Internet Faster?

The demand for faster transfer of more data over the Internet is constantly increasing, and today's technology is struggling to keep up.

Janelle Shane, an alumna of the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, and specialist in photonics has a prescription for increased Internet speeds: tiny lasers.

The switch from electrical wires to fiber-optic cables has already begun improving Internet speeds around the world.

"We can fit a lot more information on one strand of glass than we ever could on a wire, because we can put different colors of light down the same wire," said Shane.

But the problems with electrical wires -- namely heat and interference –- remain inside our devices.

"We want to try and use those same advantages that we got from fiber optics on a computer chip, for sending data not only between computers but now within computers as well," said Shane.

The challenge: making lasers small enough to fit on microchip.

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