An optical computer (also called a photonic computer) is a device that uses the photons of visible light or infrared (IR) beams, rather than electric current, to perform digital computations. An electric current creates heat in computer systems. As the processing speed increases, so does the amount of electricity required; this extra heat is extremely damaging to the hardware. Light, however, creates insignificant amounts of heat, regardless of how much is used. Thus, the development of more powerful processing systems becomes possible. By applying some of the advantages of visible and/or IR networks at the device and component scale, a computer might someday be developed that can perform operations 10 or more times faster than a conventional electronic computer.

Visible-light and IR beams, unlike electric currents, pass through each other without interacting. Several (or many) laser beams can be shone so their paths intersect, but there is no interference among the beams, even when they are confined essentially to two dimensions. Electric currents must be guided around each other, and this makes three-dimensional wiring necessary. Thus, an optical computer, besides being much faster than an electronic one, might also be smaller.

Most research projects focus on replacing current computer components with optical equivalents, resulting in an optical digital computer system processing binary data. This approach appears to offer the best short-term prospects for commercial optical computing, since optical components could be integrated into traditional computers to produce an optical/electronic hybrid. Other research projects take a non-traditional approach, attempting to develop entirely new methods of computing that are not physically possible with electronics.

Optikol kompyutās wa kompyutās opèreiten bai làit pùlses rīpleisiŋ elektronik signols. 光學電腦是指利用光脈衝替代電子訊號製作的電腦。這些光脈衝訊號可以用紅外線或可見光。由於電流會令電腦發現,採用光脈衝的一個好處,就是可以降低電腦的發熱量而無需犧牲其計算效能。過度的熱量,可令電腦損壞。而一但光學電腦普及,其速度可達現今電腦的十倍。



References / Riförènses / 參考資料 Edit

  1. "〈國際新聞:IBM研用光脈衝縮超級電腦〉". 《快線周報》. 2007-12-8. (p.P.6 中國‧國際版). 

See also / Si osou / 參看 Edit


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