Is optical computing the future?

To directly answer the question of what optical computing is?

Optical computing refers to the use of light or photons to perform computation instead of traditional electronic means. It holds promise for faster and more efficient processing.

How can one build logic gates and complex circuits using light? To achieve any logic gate, such as an adder, we need a NAND or NOR gate. From these gates, any desired gate can be constructed. A NOR gate can be implemented by utilizing the natural OR structure of light, where if a single signal is on, the output is automatically on, and only when both input signals are off, the output signal is off. The challenge lies in incorporating a NOT gate within the NOR gate, which reverses the signal, turning it from on to off and vice versa.

To obtain the logical component, the patterns of optical interferences of light waves are now utilized.

How an improvement in internal data speed by a factor of 1000x compared to conventional computers can be achieved: The difference lies in the use of photons instead of electrons, enabling nearly instant computation. In contrast to traditional computers, data flows continuously during a computing process without the need to stop or redirect it.

As our communication today is largely optical over terrestrial networks, every time we send data over fiber cables, we must convert electronic signals to optical signals using optical computing, what involves challenges. Shrinking optical, logical circuits to a microscopic level for computer-like processing poses greater complexity compared to silicon-based processors. Despite these challenges, optical computing remains an intriguing area for the future of computers, especially in communication applications, where the conversion between electronic and optical signals can be cumbersome and resource-intensive.

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