Latest in Science

Image credit:

Light-based 'Metatronics' chip melts minds, not copper

James Trew, @itstrew
February 26, 2012
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Engineers at the University of Pennsylvania have flipped the switch on a new type of computer circuit. Unlike conventional silicon, the new chip uses light -- not electricity -- to perform its logic. By creating an array of nano-rods, light-flow can be treated like voltage and current. These rods can then be configured to emulate electrical components such as resistors, inductors and capacitors. The benefits of the so-called "metatronic" system would be smaller, faster and more efficient computer chips, which is clearly a welcome prospect. Another curious property the team discovered, is what it calls "stereo-circuitry." Effectively one set of nano-rods can act as two different circuits, depending on the plane of the field. This means your CPU could become a GPU just by changing the signal. We can't speak for the light itself, but our minds are certainly bent.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Facebook envisions using holographics for super-slim VR glasses

Facebook envisions using holographics for super-slim VR glasses

View
Nigerians face US charges over online fraud worth 'hundreds of millions'

Nigerians face US charges over online fraud worth 'hundreds of millions'

View
Animal Crossing fans get real about the fictional NookPhone

Animal Crossing fans get real about the fictional NookPhone

View
Boeing is reportedly ending production of its 747 jumbo jet

Boeing is reportedly ending production of its 747 jumbo jet

View
Potential NASA mission would explore Neptune's moon Triton

Potential NASA mission would explore Neptune's moon Triton

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr