A team of scientists has developed the first electro-optical device that provides a solution to increase the speed and energy efficiency of computer memory and processors.
Data processing at the speed of light area tempting prospect, and earlier researchers have already demonstrated the possibility of using photons in various computational processes. However, until now, optical and traditional electronic computing could not interact with each other due to differences in the functionality of photons and electrons.
For solutions scientists from this fundamental problemUniversities of Oxford, Münster and Exter have limited the light to nanoscopic dimensions, combining the concepts of integrated photonics, plasmonics and electronic memory technologies. The resulting compact device can work simultaneously as an optical or electrical memory and as a processor.
In this case, information can be stored and processed using photons or electrons, or any combination thereof.
According to the developers, this is a promising way that will improve data processing efficiency and computing performance, combining the advantages of optical and electronic devices.