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Researchers Discover "Holy Grail" of Optical Computing
Written by Daniel   
Monday, 04 August 2008 10:05

 New breakthrough allows light to be compressed much more readily
Jason Mick (Blog) - August 4, 2008 8:12 AM 

Looking to the future, optical computing is one of several technologies being considered as a high-speed replacement to traditional electrical-based computing. While quantum computing is considered by many as the ultimate future of computing, optical computing is more realizable in the near future.

In fact, optical computing components have already been realized with fiber optic services available in select parts of the country for high speed computing. However, more exotic devices like light-based storage or light transistor-composed CPUs, necessary to build a full optical computer, remain in the really of conjecture.

An important breakthrough in optical computing may help to change that. Researchers at the University of California Berkley have developed a novel method to squeeze light into extremely small spaces, an important hurdle that optical computing faced. Previously researchers could get light to fit in relatively small spaces -- even as small as 200 nm, about 400 times smaller than a human hair. This size helps to dictate the necessary size for the smallest fiber optic fibers, which for various reasons are about five times this width -- or about 1 µm wide.

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