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Computers working entirely with light ???

An international team, led by Sydney University, has developed the optical integrator a fundamental building block equivalent to those used in multi-functional electronic circuits  on a CMOS compatible silicon chip.

According to the scientists, the device, a photonic chip compatible with electronic technology (CMOS), will be a key enabler of next generation fully integrated ultrafast optical data processing technologies for many applications including ultra fast optical information-processing, optical memory, measurement, computing systems, and real time differential equation computing units.

It is based on a passive micro-ring resonator and performs the time integral of an arbitrary optical waveform with a time resolution of a few picoseconds, corresponding to a processing speed of around 200 GHz, and with a “hold” time approaching a nanosecond.

This represents an unprecedented processing time-bandwidth product (TBP)  a principal figure of merit, defined as the ratio between the integration time window to the fastest time feature that can be accurately processed  approaching 100 much higher than advanced passive electronic integrators where the TBP is less than 10. — PTI

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