Copper wiring (or typical metal wiring) has served us well. From the advent of twisted pair technology all the way through to the metal (or copper) wiring found in our computers that allow electrical impulses surge from component to component to give our computers some semblance of life. However, a new trend in this form of wiring is likely to start taking place. It is interesting to note that the materials used in technology that transfers a signal over great distances often winds up finding its way into our home computer related technology. Consider copper wiring that was (and still is to a large extent) the predominant material used in telephone cabling. In your computer if you open it up you are likely to see all manner of soldered copper and metallic wiring all over your motherboard, graphics card and even on your hard drive.
As fiber optic cable has started becoming the new way of transferring telephone signals – it is soon going to find its way into our computers. Fiber optics essentially works via laser impulses. These impulses convey a signal much more efficiently and faster than a standard electrical impulse that is conveyed via copper or metal cabling. Fiber optic transmission of data signals are looking like they are going to become the next big thing in terms of computer design and development because of this.
If you have ever had to back up data between two different hard drives then you are probably aware of how time consuming it is. Fiber optic computer components (in the first wave of fiber optic computer technology) promise to transfer data at speeds of up to fifty gigabytes per second. Compare that to copper wiring which transfers data (at a maximum) of ten gigabytes per second and the difference is really noticeable. This technology is not likely to hit the market in an accessible way for quite a while yet – it is something to look forward too however.