Light based processor? Looks like photonic computing is not just limited to theoretical limits
2015 has been yet another year where technological advancements were showcased to the public and while some were still in testing phase, others were finally able to showcase a sample of what they could view in the near future. Such is the case with a light based processor that has been developed by scientists. Coming from the University of Colorado, researchers have created with what they want to refer as a definite light based processor.
This light based processor is able to transmit data using light instead of electricity. While it can be said that the processor will be delivering photonic computing power, its design is not entirely photonic, but its 850 optical input/output elements are able to deliver speeds that make electrical chips looks downright miniature in terms of performance. According to the research, approximately 300Gbps of data per square millimeters can be transferred, which is equal to around 10-50 times the speed that you normally see today.
So what was the primary objective of the scientists? Well to start off, the primary goal was to find a way to reuse existing conventional processes to put optics in place of regular circuitry. The design of the light based processor is not what you can call a powerful one since it only measures in at 3 mm by 6 mm, and possesses just two cores. The scientists have not stated that if this current chip is going to be used in applications for the future, nor have they said that they are currently working on a successor.
However, it does show the potential for dramatic improvements in computing power by using alternative sources of power. There is definitely room for more optimizations and improvements and we will definitely be coming across those in the foreseeable future. For now, the past is history and the future remains a mystery.