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Metatronic light chips could lead to speed breakthroughs

updated 05:55 am EST, Sun February 26, 2012

Metatronic processor uses light to send data

The University of Pennsylvania has published word that it had developed the first chip to use light instead of wires for chip logic. Referred to as metatronics, the technology uses columns of silicon nitride that either lets information through freely or serves as either a capacitor or a resistor. Because of how lightwaves can move, it can even create parallel or serial connections depending on whether a pillar is horizontal or vertical.

Combinations of the two could lead to processors that have one processor behaving as multiple circuits. Capacitance would work by grouping the light from four or more rods together.

Completely metatronic chips would have to wait on optical interconnections between parts, which are in development but have yet to be mastered. The most likely uses are with hybrid processors, where wired connections are used to fill in when optical isn't adequate. However, research lead Nader Engheta and anticipate metatronic chips being used in real products once that happens. [via ExtremeTech]




by MacNN Staff

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