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Day 2 of the 2016 Intel Developer Forum saw Intel launch a new silicon photonics product for super fast data transfer. The Intel PSM4 silicon photonics module was announced alongside Microsoft. Redmond will be an early adopter of the new silicon photonics.

Diane Bryant, Intel executive vice president and general manager of its Data Center Group made the announcement. Joining her was Kushagra Vaid, GM, Azure Cloud HW Engineering from Microsoft. Together the two companies discussed Intel PSM4 and how it can push 100 gigabits per second over two kilometers.

Microsoft’s position as an early adopter and close ties to Intel were evident. The company will use the Silicon photonics in Azure data centers to drive scale. Intel PSM4 Silicon Photonics Module makes it easier to share data through a data center. At the event, Bryant said the company has been working for years to bring optical and electronics into a single silicon.


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The results is a silicon photonics that is more efficient performance and less cost to make. The 2016 Intel Developer Forum is taking place in San Francisco, where Bryant said:

“Electrons running over network cables won’t cut it. Intel has been working on silicon photonics over 16 years. We are the first to light up silicon.”

The need for increased speed and efficiency is paramount. Bryant points out that data center traffic doubles every 12 months.

Microsoft and Intel have enjoyed a close relationship for decades. The company announced it will also begin testing field-programmable gate arrays (FPGSs) for the Intel Altera division.