Hello,

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

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

Not a subscriber? 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.

More from Intelligent Machines

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

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to All Access Digital.
  • All Access Digital {! insider.prices.digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The digital magazine, plus unlimited site access, our online archive, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    Digital magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.