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Silicon photonics the key to unlocking AI’s full potential

The large language models that enable generative artificial intelligence (AI) are driving an increase in investment and an acceleration of competition in the field of silicon photonics, a technology that combines silicon-based integrated circuits (ICs) and optical components to process and transmit massive amounts of data more efficiently.

Top-rank designers and manufacturers of ICs, AI systems and telecommunications equipment have all joined the race, including NVIDIA, TSMC, Intel, IBM, Cisco Systems, Huawei, NTT and imec, the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre headquartered in Belgium.

These and other organizations have been working on silicon photonics for many years, some of them (including Intel and NTT) for nearly two decades.

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