Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Intelligent Machines

Tuned-in Lasers

Fiber-optic networks carry data as different-colored pulses of laser light. When adding data to an optical signal, it helps to be able to tune the transmitting laser to a color not in use. Two hitches, though: tunable lasers are expensive, and they aren’t widely offered commercially. SRI International in Menlo Park, CA, says it has devised a means of creating a tunable laser that should make the technology cheaper and more available.

Rather than build a device from scratch, SRI has found new ways to employ off-the-shelf components, says Pajo Vujkovic-Cvijin, lead scientist on the company’s Chameleon Project. For example, the SRI laser uses a minuscule heater-the width of a strand of hair-to tweak the wavelength of light by adjusting its temperature. SRI is keeping mum on most details surrounding the project until two patents receive approval, which should happen this fall. But the company is talking with 14 optical-networking equipment manufacturers about licensing possibilities.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Online Only.
  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.