The power of a computer depends on the operating speed and arrangement density of its components. Light is ideal in both aspects. The speed of photons is the speed of light, which is 300,000 kilometers per second, which is the fastest speed in the universe. The information processing speed of the laser beam can reach 1000 times that of existing semiconductor silicon devices. In 1990, Bell Labs introduced a computer composed of lasers, lenses, mirrors, etc. This is the embryonic form of an optical computer. Subsequently, more than 70 scientists from Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and other countries have successfully developed an optical computer whose operation speed is 1,000 times faster than ordinary electronic computers. Optical computers are manufactured using nano-plasmonic components as the core and perform information operations through optical signals. Such computers that use light as a carrier for information processing are called optical computers, also known as optical brains.
Optical computer is a computer that uses light instead of electrons or electric current to realize high-speed processing of large-capacity information. Its basic component is a spatial light modulator, and adopts optical interconnection technology to make an optical connection between the computing part and the storage part, and the computing part can directly access the storage part in parallel. It breaks through the traditional architecture that uses a bus to connect arithmetic units, memories, input and output devices. The calculation speed is extremely high and the power consumption is low.
Optical computer is a computer that uses light instead of electrons or electric current to realize high-speed processing of large-capacity information. Its basic component is a spatial light modulator, and adopts optical interconnection technology to make an optical connection between the computing part and the storage part, and the computing part can directly access the storage part in parallel. It breaks through the traditional architecture that uses a bus to connect arithmetic units, memories, input and output devices. The calculation speed is extremely high and the power consumption is low. It is still in the development stage.
Optical computers make full use of the characteristics of light. Compared with the characteristics of electricity, it has incomparable advantages:
First , The optical device allows high frequency and large range of light, which is the so-called bandwidth is very large, and the amount of information transmitted and processed is extremely large. For the two beams to interfere, they must have the same frequency, the same vibration direction and a constant initial phase difference. Therefore, many light waves with different wavelengths or the same wavelength but different vibration directions can be transmitted in parallel in the same optical fiber without interference between them. Someone calculates that a prism with a length of about 1.5 cm on each side has an information passing capacity many times greater than that of all existing telephone cables in the world.
Secondly, distortion and distortion are small in information transmission, and information calculation speed is high. Light and electricity propagate very fast in the medium, but light and electricity are different. Optical computers are "no-wire computers". There are no parasitic resistance, capacitance and inductance problems in the transmission of light in optical media, and optical devices have no ground potential difference. Therefore, the information distortion and distortion caused by transmission are extremely small, and the switching speed of optical devices is much faster than that of electronic devices. The calculation speed of an optical computer can theoretically reach more than 100 billion times per second, and its information processing speed is millions of times faster than that of an electronic computer.
Third, the energy consumption is extremely low during optical transmission and conversion. Although the current in the integrated circuit is very weak, power consumption is still a big problem due to the increase in integration, and the problem is even more serious for supercomputers. Optical computers are different, except that the laser source requires a certain amount of energy. When light is transmitted and converted, energy consumption is extremely low.
The emergence of optical computers will make the 21st century an era of human-computer communication; in the future, optical computers will also be widely used, especially in some special fields, such as Predict weather, climate and other complicated and changeable processes; it can also be applied to telephone transmission. Using light waves instead of electric current to process data and information is a very important step for the development of computers; in the future, optical computers will bring us more powerful computing power and processing speed. It will even open a new door for the future cross-integration with biological sciences and other disciplines.