This processor uses light to transmit data and points to a promising future

Researchers at the University of Colorado in the United States have created what signals is the first processor that uses light, not electricity, to transmit data. While it’s not a full “photonic” microprocessor, the progress is notable.

Processor uses light

In fact its input/output optical elements deliver a bandwidth of 300Gbps per square millimeter, representing an increase of 10 to 50 times that achieved conventionally. This development could revolutionize the future of microprocessors, and marks a major advance in the way these components are made.

Photonics technology has many advantages
Until now they had failed to integrate photonic devices into the same processes used to make computer chips, but they have now succeeded and this is the key to implementing this solution without manufacturing costs.

As one of the people responsible, “The advantage of optical technology is that with the same amount of energy you can transmit a few centimeters to a few meters or a few kilometers”, Traditional electrical transmission systems usually require the inclusion of repeaters to regenerate that signal, which in turn makes it necessary to amplify the energy required and consumed.

For the moment it is an early development in which these researchers continue to work: the processor has two cores, measures 3×6 mm and is not particularly powerful, but the scope for improvement is extraordinary if we consider the possibilities it offers. Can transmit a large amount of information time.

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