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Non-Reciprocal Light Propagation Photonic Circuit Development Alters Face of Computer Rentals Forever

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 06:31 -- Erin

We rent computers, and as such, we need to know what’s going on, so we can keep our inventory relevant. And if there’s one thing holding back the evolution of computers as a species, its internal hardware.

So when a new development comes to market – like improvements to silicon chips – we tend to pay attention. We care even if we can’t verbalize the development three times fast in a row: like non-reciprocal light propagation in a silicon photonic circuit.

Essentially, a breakthrough way to manipulate light signals and reflections has been developed at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). And it will change the way that the world connects – quite literally. Presently, Internet connectivity is derived from a worldwide network of fiber-optic cables. But that may no longer be the case (and sooner than later).

As per the researchers at Caltech, their new photonic chips will cut back the need for traditional optical-fiber technology. By isolating light signals on a silicon chip, it allows computers to harness the power of light to communicate. In essence, this development will alleviate the reliance on electronic chips.

It goes without saying, but this is a big deal. It’s kind of like the "grail" for computer engineers. And it’s here. In our lifetime.

Axel Scherer, Bernard A. Neches and Kavli Nanoscience led the team responsible for this evolution, but one of the postdoctoral scholars in their group, Liang Feng, is the individual responsible for reporting their findings to the respected journal Science.

Feng summed it up nicely, saying "We want to take everything on an electronic chip and reproduce it on a photonic chip." Feng added, "We want to build something where you can see me, but I can't see you. That means there's no signal from your side to me. The device on my side is isolated; it won't be affected by my surroundings, so the functionality of my device will be stable."

Ironically, isolation has proven the key for expansion, and it’s growth the world has long waited for.

Here at Vernon, we are extremely excited for this new technology, and can’t wait to offer computer rentals with these new-fangled super chips to our customers.