Light-based hardware

HAL_404

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Just read about light based hardware over at TechSpot. What do you think about it?
 

commissioneranthony

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I remember reading about intel's future light based chips in an NY times article back in 2006. In a physical newspaper. I hope they made some progress lol
 

ManofGod

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Ummmm, link? Story? Information? Please do not be one of those "Hey, I fixed it" and then disappears without telling anyone how they fixed it. :)
 

tangoseal

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Well electrons have mass and charge and are therefore able to be manipulated with ease.

Photons have no mass so I dont know how they plan to contain or maneuver them through the intricate framework of a CPU.

This is interesting no doubt. Very interesting.
 

tangoseal

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Then why can't light escape a black hole? Why is gravitational lensing possible?

Because light can't bypass space time. Matter warps space time and light follows along the path of the fabric of space time.

The reason light cant escape the gravity well of a black hole event horizon has to do with escape velocity, simply put the light that enters the event horizon more than likely either gets absorbed by unknown forces inside the horizon, or it simply doesn't have the velocity necessary to escape the orbital speed that it would require.

Remember gravity is just a product of bending the fabric of space. The best example is a giant Lycra sheet held up by say 5 people stretched out like a parachute, kind of like when you were a kid in grade school playing with a giant parachute with 100 kids holding it up. Put a marble in the middle and it makes a dimple in space time. Put a bowling ball in the middle and it puts a huge dent in the fabric. It takes more velocity to maintain an orbit around a bowling ball than it does a marble. If the object doesn't maintain sufficient velocity it will eventually fall in to the object that is causing the "downhill slope" for lack of a better term.

In space sized objects the mass of a black hole puts such deep hole or rip in space time that light doesn't have the escape velocity. It has nothing to do with attraction.

I guess for a layman explanation youtube is the best:

 
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IdiotInCharge

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Photons have no mass so I dont know how they plan to contain or maneuver them through the intricate framework of a CPU.

Well, using them for interconnects as opposed to wires (on PCBs or otherwise) is the next basic step. See Intel's 400Gbps transceivers- for now, they're just happy to weld the optics straight to the die, but their next step is to embed the optics as part of the die itself.

Next step after that, hooking up everything inside the system with fiber like it is outside?

Line bandwidth is limited by latency timing and signal bandwidth and transmission power adds up too, so if they can do optics on the cheap speeds can go up and power use can go down.
 

inbedwithhomer

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Then why can't light escape a black hole? Why is gravitational lensing possible?

Gravity is caused by what amounts to a bend in spacetime. Light travels along a straight path, yes, but a black hole is a really extreme bend, sort of like a pit. Also, it's possible the light may eventually escape, but as hawking radiation.
 

tangoseal

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Gravity is caused by what amounts to a bend in spacetime. Light travels along a straight path, yes, but a black hole is a really extreme bend, sort of like a pit. Also, it's possible the light may eventually escape, but as hawking radiation.

Isn't it absolutely exciting that we now have visual evidence and proof that black holes are not theoretical. This confirms so much!
 

Brian_B

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I thought electric current already moved at nearly the speed of light, since it's not the actual speed of electron travel but the speed of wave propagation of current flow.

Sure, nothing is faster than light, but electricity isn't exactly slow. The best part I can think of moving to photons would be removing resistive losses (although you'd be trading I2R for some other type of loss - everything degrades to thermal in the end)
 

stormy1

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The are not talking about light based computing they are talking about light based interconnects.
The low power is the real break through.
Fiber optics could replace all the bus systems on a motherboard.
Stacked chips with optical interconnections is an interesting idea.
 

Sycraft

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I thought electric current already moved at nearly the speed of light, since it's not the actual speed of electron travel but the speed of wave propagation of current flow.

Sure, nothing is faster than light, but electricity isn't exactly slow. The best part I can think of moving to photons would be removing resistive losses (although you'd be trading I2R for some other type of loss - everything degrades to thermal in the end)

Moves faster than light in fiber optic cables, actually. Because the way fiber optics work is by having a pretty steep index of refraction to cause the light to bounce back and forth in the fiber, it slows down the speed at which information propagates. For more optical cable, it is around 70% of the speed of light in a vacuum. Electricity in copper wire normally propagates information at about 90% of the speed of light in a vacuum.

The reason optics are useful is their resistance to interference, greater bandwidth capabilities, and lower attenuation, not because they move information faster.
 
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