The Wall Street Journal Most Innovative Technologies Awards

by Michael Totty, September 27, 2010 of The Wall Street Journal

This year the Innovation Awards judges chose winners in 17 categories. Here’s a look at the winning entries.

Computing Systems

Lightfleet Corp., based in Camas, Wash., won in this category for a novel way of connecting computer processors, using beamed light instead of copper or fiber-optic wires.

In big data centers, even the fastest servers get slowed by bottlenecks in the connections between microprocessors, or nodes. Lightfleet’s technology aims to eliminate the bottlenecks by replacing the wired switches typically used to manage these connections with a device that sends a data-carrying beam of light to all the nodes at once. The faster transmission of data promises to make it possible, for example, to run Wall Street’s high-speed trading operations more efficiently.


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