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Compute with Light

light as a medium for computing
  [vote for,

instead of using copper in a silicon chip, replace the copper with fiber optic cables. at each end is an LED, and data can be moved back and forth in the traditional manner. an entire computer built this way (with analogs for resistors, capacitors, etc. I'm sure) would not only be marginally faster, but would be much more efficient and would never overheat. it might even be slightly cheaper, since I'm sure that glass is cheaper than copper.
fischerman, Mar 23 2011

Optical Computing http://en.wikipedia...i/Optical_computing
[Jinbish, Mar 23 2011]


       How would you get the LEDs and optical fibres small enough to compete with etched silicon?
pocmloc, Mar 23 2011

       Optical computing research is well advanced, using photons instead of electrons entirely; ie: not using LEDs and converting back-and-forth between electrical and optical.
[M-F-D] - old news...?
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 23 2011

       What [neutrinos shadow] said. This is a brilliant idea, and would have made you a pioneer a very few decades ago.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 23 2011

       Timing is everything.
ldischler, Mar 23 2011

       Don't quote me on this but I think the slew rate for a LED is too slow. [ ]
FlyingToaster, Mar 23 2011

       Decades ago, for classical computing, this research failed, for many reasons. Now with quantum computing, it is failing again. Bottom line - light for communication, electrons for storage and for computation.
sqeaketh the wheel, Mar 23 2011

       What’s needed is a purely optical-domain switch. Until that happens, optical computing is a hybrid bodge, or compromise to use the proper terminology.
Ian Tindale, Mar 23 2011


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