The New York Times reports that scientists at Intel and Cal-Santa Barbara have developed a new silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams. "The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, removing the most significant bottleneck in computer design," writes Times tech reporter John Markoff.
I'm generally wary of stories about world-changing early-stage technologies that are years from commercialization. But some of the photonics experts quoted by the Times seem to agree that this would be a significant advance. Here's a key explanatory paragraph:
Lasers are already used to transmit high volumes of computer data over longer distances