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

Sponsored Links

Light-based 'Metatronics' chip melts minds, not copper
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.
Popular on Engadget