Bent Light Beams to Make Computers Faster

Bent Light Beams to Make Computers Faster

Bent Lights Beams to Make Computers Faster
A new device that controls light faster and more efficiently than ever before and is the key to the next generation of light-based supercomputers. Researchers has module a device resembling a plastic honeycomb yet infinitely smaller than a bee’s stinger can steer light beams around tighter curves than ever before possible, while keeping the integrity and intensity of the beam intact.

The work, conducted by researchers at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) and at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and published in the journal Optics Express, introduces a more effective way to transmit data rapidly on electronic circuit boards by using light. Sending data on light beams, instead of electrical signals, allows data to be transmitted thousands of times more quickly. But controlling the light beams without losing their energy has been the challenge. Microchip and computer manufacturers however, are increasingly looking to light as the best way to overcome speed bottlenecks associated with today’s electronics.

“Computer chips and circuit boards have metal wire connections within them that transport data signals,” said Raymond Rumpf, a professor at UTEP. “One of challenges when using light is figuring out a way to make tight bends so we can replace the metal wiring effectively.”

“Direct laser writing has the potential to become a flexible means for manufacturing next generation computer devices,” said Stephen Kuebler, a professor of chemistry at UCF.

Kuebler and his students used direct laser writing, a kind of nanoscale 3D printing, to create the small lattices. The team then ran light beams through the lattices and confirmed that they could flow light without loss through turns that are twice as tight as any other.

 

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