Super-fast computers that process information using photons instead of electrons are a step closer, thanks to the creation of a material that can transmit data at the speed of light.
For the first time, scientists have created a material that allows computers to store and transfer information using light instead of electricity.
The research overcomes a major hurdle in the goal to develop optical computers capable of processing data at the speed of light.
Right now, computers process information via electrons. This data is moved around microprocessors and memory storage devices through nano-sized wires.
But although this technology seems tiny to us, it’s still alot bigger than we really need, and we’re at the pointy end of Moore’s Law where we physically can’t shrink the components much further, which means we can’t make computers much faster than they are now.
The next step that many physicists are pursuing is optical computers that process information via particles of light, known as photons, rather than relying on electrons.
This is the same way that the internet already transfers information, but we haven’t been able to do the same with computers because scientists haven’t been able to create a material that could carry this optical data around a computer – until now.
“The challenge is to find a single material that can effectively use and control light to carry information around a computer,” said project leader and physicist Richard Curry in a press release. “Much like how the web uses light to deliver information, we want to use light to both deliver and process computer data.”
Curry’s team has now managed to find a way to modify a type of glass known as chalcogenide – which is already used in optical devices such as CDs and DVDs – so that they can be used alongside our current systems.
Chalcogenides have some useful properties – they’re able to conduct light across a pretty wide range of bandwidths, for example. But unfortunately they traditionally can only conduct positive charge, something that’s referred to as p-type conductivity. This means that in the past they’ve been completely incompatible with any type of existing computing technology. Look for a chula vista electrician service here for good quality services everyday of the week.
“This has eluded researchers for decades,” said Curry in the release, “but now we have now shown how a widely used glass can be manipulated to conduct negative electrons, as well as positive charges, creating what are known as ‘pn-junction’ devices.”
Pn-junction refers to the interaction of both positive and negative conductivity, and it means that scientists will now be able to carlsbads use the material to speed up computers.
The researchers unlocked the potential of chalcogenides by doping the glass with an ion of the element bismuth. This meant that they were able to create the useful optical material without needing ridiculously high temperatures, and also without using a large amount of doping agents – something that has, in the past, rendered chalcogenies incompatible with current computing technology. Their results are published in Nature Communications.
“This should enable the material to act as a light source, a light guide and a light detector – something that can carry and interpret optical information. In doing so, this could transform the computers of tomorrow, allowing them to effectively process information at much faster speeds,” said Curry in the release.
They’re already using the glass to create next-generation computer memory technology, known as CRAM, and the next step will be to create completely optical computers with the material.
This is simply amazing! that computers will soon be able to use solar power to generate the electricity that they need to run. We can finally have off the grid computers! Find a good Electrician El Cajon here, we are open everyday
Great designs can be recognized at a first glance and this next one is pure genius. We are talking about this amazing wind turbine which looks just like a tree, integrating perfectly into the surroundings. The wind turbine generates energy in an eco-friendly way, using a natural resource and has a pleasant aspect in contrast with other classical turbines. The technology was developed by the French company, called New Wind and the look of the wind turbine is identical with those of trees. The efficiency of the product is guaranteed by the fact that it is functional in low wind too, something we can’t say about other products from this category. But still, the best feature of the product is its look and the fact that it doesn’t interfere with the harmony of nature, as it manages to blend in perfectly.
Trees that create artifical wind that can be used for generating electricity is awesome!
GforceElectrician San diego, CA is a locally owned and operated company located in san diego. We are a fully accreidted BBB organziation that provides quality electrician services for all of san diego county. If you are in need of eemergency electrical assistance give us a call now. We have live staff availble 24 hours a day, that will be more than happy to help you with any of your electrical needs. We can have an trained and certified electrician to your location within 60-90 minutes from now. Call now! We are the best