We're big proponents of the idea that everything is better with lasers
, and a team of researchers at UC Berkeley has created a new type of semiconductor plasmon nanolaser, or spaser, that could eventually find a home in many of your favorite devices. The big breakthrough is that Berkeley's spaser operates at room temperature -- previous spasers could only sustain lasing at temperatures below -250° C -- enabling its use in commercial products. Plasmon lasers work by amplifying surface plasmons, which can be confined to a much smaller area than the light particles amplified by conventional lasers. This allows for extreme miniaturization of optical devices for ultra-high-resolution imaging, high sensitivity biological sensors, and optical circuits
100 times faster than the electronic variety. There's no word on how soon the technology will be commercially available, so you'll have to wait a bit longer for your first laser computer.