Purdue boffins have emerged from their smoke filled labs having invented a new optical device which could supercharge a chip.
The “passive optical diode” is made from two tiny silicon rings measuring 10 microns across, or about a 10th the width of human hair unless you have very thick hair.
Domain-b got its paws on the report and said that normally optical diodes require a hand to transmit signals that can be integrated into computer chips. However the Purdue diode is capable of “non-reciprocal transmission”, meaning it transmits signals in only one direction, making it capable of information processing.
The Science journal quotes Minghao Qi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue as saying that this one-way transmission is the most fundamental part of a logic circuit, so the diodes open the door to optical information processing.
Fibre optic translation requires expensive equipment and this means that you can plug the fibre directly into computers with no translation needed, and then you get a lot of bandwidth and security, Science said.