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

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

View
'Xbox Series S' console revealed by controller packaging

'Xbox Series S' console revealed by controller packaging

View
Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

View
Watch AI-controlled virtual fighters take on an Air Force pilot August 18th

Watch AI-controlled virtual fighters take on an Air Force pilot August 18th

View
Nintendo 'gigaleak' reveals the classic games that never were

Nintendo 'gigaleak' reveals the classic games that never were

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr