New research demonstrates how glass could be manipulated to create a material that would allow computers to transfer information using light.
This may significantly increase computer processing speeds and power in the future. “The challenge is to find a single material that can effectively use and control light to carry information around a computer. Much like how the web uses light to deliver information, we want to use light to both deliver and process computer data,” said project leader Richard Curry from the University of Surrey in Britain.
By using a novel technique, the team discovered a material that could use light to bring together different computing functions into one component, bringing together an all-optical system. The team showed how a widely-used glass could be manipulated to conduct positive charges. “This should enable the material to act as a light source, a light guide and a light detector — something that can carry and interpret optical information,” Curry added.
The results of this research will be integrated into computers within the next 10 years, the team hoped. The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.