Researchers develop a new platform for all-optical computing
By Leah Burrows, SEAS Communications
(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) — The future of computation is bright — literally.
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University in collaboration with researchers at McMaster University and University of Pittsburgh, have developed a new platform for all-optical computing, meaning computations done solely with beams of light.
“Most computation right now uses hard materials such as metal wires, semiconductors and photodiodes to couple electronics to light,” said Amos Meeks, a graduate student at SEAS and co-first author of the research. “The idea behind all-optical computing is to remove those rigid components and control light with light. Imagine, for example, an entirely soft, circuitry-free robot driven by light from the sun.”