In a presentation at the Intel Developers Forum in Beijing, Intels CTO Justin Rattner demonstrated a 100Gbps connection based on their Silicon Photonics technology
Having already developed the technology behind Thunderbolt connections, Intel is continuing to push the boundaries. Thunderbolt was first released at 10Gbps and it was recently announced that 20Gbps is coming, but Intel have now demonstrated 100Gbps connections and are rumoured to be aiming for 1Tbps in the future.
According to Intel: "Intel CTO Justin Rattner has for the first time publicly demonstrated a fully functional silicon photonics module incorporating Intel® Silicon Photonics Technology and operating at 100 gigabits per second. This is a completely integrated module that includes silicon modulators, detectors, waveguides and circuitry. Intel believes this is the only module in the world that uses a hybrid silicon laser."
Silicon Photonics is basically an optical system on a chip that allows for very high speed switching of optical data and connection to traditional electronics. Because it is based on Silicon it can be produced using standard fabrication technologies and should be relatively cheap to produce.
The technology is initailly aimed at server rooms to allow for high speed interconnects between servers but it obviously has huge potential in media production with the possibility of streaming 2K, 4K or even 8K material over fibre optic connections.