Researchers from the University of Colorado claim to have created what they say is the first processor that’s able to transmit data using light instead of electricity – a process commonly called photonics.
The chip’s input/output is reportedly considerably faster than a traditional processor, coming in at 300GB per second per square millimeter, a number that is 10 to 50 times the normal speed featured in typical conductive processors. According to the University of Colorado, the key to developing the technology was finding a way to place optics in locations where traditional electricity-based circuitry would typically be present.
While still just an experiment, the technology’s ability to transmit massive amounts of data is impressive and could have significant application in the world of portable electronics, particularly smartphones.
Many experts cite light-based computing as the future of processors and the next significant leap in chip architecture.
Image credit: University of Colorado Boulder