In a breakthrough, researchers have found success in transferring data using light that will take the computing to the next level. They have developed a new microprocessor chip that uses the power of light instead of electricity that drove the conventional chips. Apart from being lightning fast, the newly developed light-based chip is very compact and uses very less power when compared to conventional chips.
Advanced light-based circuitry could reshape the future computing devices and their architecture including computers and smartphones. Although it is not feasible enough to be in use today but after few years of research, the new technology will make computing devices several times faster, cheaper and cost efficient.
Lead researcher Milos Popovic, assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in US, said that the light-based microprocessor chip will bring radical change in computing devices.
While explaining why he chose light for transferring data, Popovic explained that electronic circuitry is getting complex day by day with the growing demand for resources and power. Complexity of electronic circuits get doubles in every 1.8 years and speed demands, volume and lesser availability of electricity has proven to be a limiting factor. Thus, researchers turned towards photonics to overcome this problem and make devices faster and cheaper as well.
Electrons are transmitted in conventional chips and they consume high power for travelling long distances while transmitting data through light is several times cheaper as it consumes nearly the same amount of energy for covering short as well as longer distances.
The study authors used infrared light for transferring the data which enabled very dense packing of light communication ports on a chip, enabling huge total bandwidth.
According to researchers, the new chip is nearly 50 to 100 times faster than the conventional electricity based chips and has the bandwidth density of 300 gigabits per second per square millimetre. Moreover, the ultra fast and super powerful chip measures just 3 millimeters by 6 millimeters that is sufficient enough to replace the very large scale integrated circuits in computing devices.