arcticstoat writes: Data could cruise through fibre optical cables at 1Tb/sec in the near future, according to the guys at Intel. The chip maker's researchers have just successfully trialled a 50Gb/sec data connection using photonics, and they reckon that's just the beginning. The key technology behind the achievement is the hybrid silicon laser, where silicon is bonded to Indium Phosphide, and etched gratings on the silicon act as "mirrors" to create different wavelengths. Intel's system features two major components; a transmitter which splits the electrical data signal into four 12.5Gb/sec channels and then combines them with a multiplexer to create a single signal that can travel down a fibre optic cable. This is then split back into four electrical channels by the receiver chip at the other end. The director of Intel's Photonics Technology Lab, Dr Mario Paniccia, reckons we could start seeing the first use of photonics systems in just three to five years' time.