re: Facebook Open Compute Project Shapes Big Data Hardware
Silicon photonics sounds like it has huge advantages over copper-wire-based interconnects. Components that used to have to be on the motherboard (close to the processing power) can now be "disaggregated" (meaning separated from the board). The photonic components themselves can be stamped mass-production-style, just like chips, for low cost. The cables can be much longer than copper without speed penalties, thus they're suitable for connecting servers within racks and racks across data centers as well as components inside the server.