Small, eco-friendly optical supercomputers may soon be crunching quadrillions of calculations per second (exaflops) if a company called Optalysys has its way. It claims to be months away from demonstrating a prototype optical computer that will run at 346 gigaflops to start with -- not as fast as the best supercomputers, but pretty good for a proof-of-concept. Here's how it works: low-intensity lasers are beamed through layers of liquid crystal grids, which change the light intensity based on user inputted data. The resulting interference patterns can be used to solve mathematical equations and perform other tasks. By splitting the beam through multiple grids, the system can compute in parallel much more efficiently than standard multi-processing supercomputers (as shown in the charming Heinz Wolff-hosted video below).