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March 15, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM is pretty pleased with a new Gallium Arsenide opto-electronic receiver it has developed – to the point of deeply misleadingly saying that it works so fast it can read 40 encyclopaedia volumes every second: point is it won’t be used for reading Britannica – or anything else for that matter – its function is to receive signals off very high-speed fibre optic cables and turn them into the electronic pulses that drive computers and telephone switches; it is claimed to be over twice as fast as any other device that both receives and converts, and the problem IBM had to solve was that if you put the MESFET circuits on the same chip as Gallium Arsenide, the heat required in depositing the GaAs burns up the MESFET; the trick was to dope the MESFETs with the same dopants as the GaAs, which solved the problem.

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