Navigation Links
European light research opens door for optical storage and computing
Date:4/24/2008

The goal of replacing electronics with optics for processing data in computers is coming closer through cutting edge European research into the mysterious properties of fast and slow light. The long term aim is to boost processing speeds and data storage densities by several orders of magnitude and take the information technology industry into a new era, combining greatly improved performance with dramatically lower energy consumption.

The phenomenon of fast and slow light arises from the dispersion of electromagnetic waves when they interact with, and travel through, a physical medium such as a crystal. This can have the effect of slowing down the light pulses, or on occasions appearing to cause local acceleration. These speed variations have the potential for developing purely optical devices using just electromagnetic radiation, rather than electrical signals, to store and process information. In the more immediate future, these properties will be used to enhance existing hybrid communication systems combining electronic and photonic (light-based) devices. But first more fundamental research is needed, and the current state of play along with a roadmap for future projects was discussed at a recent workshop organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF).

The project achieved its main objectives of reviewing the state of the art, highlighting possible applications, and gathering a dispersed European community of scientists, according to the workshops convenor Marco Santagiustina. There were two remarkable highlights: slow and fast light research has immense potential in applications like microwave and millimeter wave photonics, and secondly such applications can be targeted by making progress in a selected set of technologies, said Santagiustina.

Light signals are already used for communication over fibre optic cables, but cannot yet be stored directly, or used for computation. This would require slowing down the light signals so that they can be buffered within a small area, and can be achieved by exploiting fast and slow light effects. Before the arrival of true photonic computing, there is the more immediate prospect of building optical interconnects for example in communication networks, which would reduce latency, the time taken for signals to travel from source to destination. Latency imposed by the communications network has become a significant problem in an age of globalisation where computers in different continents are cooperating in tasks that need to be executed very quickly in fractions of a second.

Another more immediate application of fast and slow light is likely to come from the ability in processing ultrawide band microwave signals, for radio communications, both for mobile telephony and wireless LANs. Fast and slow light can be harnessed to transmit radio frequencies directly over fibre, making it easier, cheaper, and more efficient to connect up base stations or wireless access points. Radio over fiber is an existing application field destined to grow in the near future, said Santagiustina. This field will also represent a significant step forward for the photonic/electronic convergence. In that area the time-delay/phase-shift provided by slow and fast light devices can yield unprecedented functions.

Some of these functions have not yet been conceived, but the fundamental point is that converging photonics with electronics reduces delays and increases the bandwidth available, cutting costs and boosting communications capacity.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marco Santagiustina
marco.santagiustina@unipd.it
39-049-827-7717
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. European membrane expertise to focus on new treatments for human diseases
2. ESFs European ice core project EPICA receives prestigious Descartes Prize
3. First European Lung Cancer Conference
4. European Union forests expanding, absorbing carbon at surprisingly high rate: study
5. IdentiPHI Opens Paris Office to Boost European Sales and Support
6. Hot spots the key to controlling European carp in Australia
7. European lead in reading past climates from ice cores
8. Three-way mating game of North American lizard found in distant European relative
9. 2 French scientists win European award for communication
10. Last chance for media to register for ECCO 14 -- the European Cancer Conference
11. Detecting dangerous chemicals with lasers, exploring the brains circuitry with light and more
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/14/2018)... ... August 13, 2018 , ... NRD, ... P-2021-5502 and P-2021-5602 Cleanroom Ionizing Gun. , The ionizing gun features ergonomic ... P-2021 ionizing cartridge, 0.5-micron filter and electropolished OSHA-compliant tip. This can be cleanroom ...
(Date:8/14/2018)... ... August 14, 2018 , ... ActiGraph , ... global scientific community, announced today the establishment of a new Scientific Affairs and ... foster and support scientific collaborations with ActiGraph’s academic and pharmaceutical industry partners to ...
(Date:8/14/2018)... ... August 14, 2018 , ... From reconstruction of craniofacial ... a better understanding of congenital heart defects, 3-D printing is providing exciting approaches ... issue of Birth Defects Research (DOI: 10.1002/bdr2.1367). , The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/25/2018)... SAN MATEO, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... July 25, ... ... innovator for in vivo research utilizing its state-of-the-art Digital Vivarium™ and Vium Cloud ... Laura Schaevitz, Ph.D., to Chief Scientific Officer. Additionally, the company announced the appointment ...
(Date:7/25/2018)... , ... July 25, 2018 , ... ... for managing clinical trial patient and supplies data through its flagship IXRS® ... on IRT: Best Practices.” , This podcast features both Almac thought leaders and ...
(Date:7/24/2018)... , ... July 23, 2018 , ... ... a biofield energy treated nutraceutical to increase immunity and improve anti-inflammatory, and immune ... function response assessed in the preclinical research were significantly reduced. Results are as ...
(Date:7/24/2018)... WORTH, Texas (PRWEB) , ... July 24, 2018 , ... ... (BSA) to support blood bank reagent suppliers. In Boval’s early days most of ... capabilities were added to produce BSA for diagnostic purposes after gel cards changed that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: