New optical device to make computers faster and cooler

The new optical device could improve optical information processing and lead to powerful computers.

By Silky Malhotra Published Date
07 - Apr - 2014
| Last Updated
07 - Apr - 2014
New optical device to make computers faster and cooler

Researchers at Washington University in St Louis have developed a new optical diode for computers that would run on light. Researchers claim that the component will make more powerful computers that would be faster and cooler.

The team of researchers have created an optical diode by coupling tiny doughnut-shaped optical resonators - one with gain and the other with loss - on a silicon chip. “This diode is capable of completely eliminating light transmission in one direction and greatly enhancing light transmission in the other nonreciprocal light transmission,” says Bo Peng, a graduate student in Yang’s group and the paper’s lead author.

"We believe that our discovery would benefit many other fields involving electronics, acoustics, plasmonics and meta-materials," said Lan Yang, an associate professor of electrical and systems engineering at Washington University. "Coupling of so-called loss and gain devices using PT (parity-time)-symmetry could enable such advances as cloaking devices, stronger lasers that need less input power, and perhaps detectors that could 'see' a single atom," Yang added.

Yang and Ozdemir stated that the concept can be extended to acoustics, electronics and other fields to make one-way channels, and photonic devices with advanced functionalities, and the researchers added that they are already working on new experiments relying on PT-symmetry.

"Our resonators are small enough to use in computers and future optical information processors," Peng noted.

Recently, Afreed Islam, a Guwahati schoolboy developed a prototype of a computer system that uses a microchip, embedded within an operating system, that works both on Windows and Linux-based software at the same time. The microchip works as a storage unit and avoids the risk of data loss or system crash.

Source: WSUTL