What is Optical computing
What is optical computing? Only the solution to all our computing problems, whether it is lag or data insecurity, all will be solved as the computer industry is about to get a significant upgrade with light based computing. This upgrade has been deemed similar to the point in time when we moved from vacuum tubes to transistors, and then from transistors to integrated circuits. The optical quantum computing is being called a generational leap and will be able to make our current computers thousands of times faster. Moreover, it will end the end of Moore’s law.
Optical computing or Optical quantum Computing sounds complicated, but it is effortless to understand it. Instead of using electrons and electronic hardware, we use light and linear gates as the medium of calculation. While the speed of electrons is appreciably fast, the speed of light is faster. In fact, the speed of light is the fastest speed in the known universe. So it is a safe bet that optical computers will be immensely more powerful than regular computers.
The end of Moore’s Law
Moore’s law states that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles about every 18 months while the computer prices halve. The end of Moore’s law is near as the size of transistors in today’s chips are so small, they are even smaller than many bacteria. Sized just over 14nm in 2019, it is becoming exceedingly challenging to shrink transistors down further.
That is why, with the current technology, it is not possible to cut the price and make microchips cheaper. This is not exactly a problem, but Photonic computers will allow Moore’s law to thrive again. They will multiply our current computing power by the thousands and will revolutionize the computing industry.
Benefits of Optical Quantum Computing
Electrons move a set maximum speed i.e., up to 6-7 Gigahertz per second in current computing circuits which cannot be exceeded due to temperature increase. An upgrade to light based computing or optical quantum computing is going to boost these speeds by a thousand times, or more and computers will compute in Terahertz per second.
Not only will it boost the processing speeds, but it will also decrease the data management, processing, and storage costs as the components for light based computing are cheaper to manufacture because less material is used.
The transfer of data through light has already revolutionized the communications industry. The used of fiber optics has made the transfer of large chunks of data a matter of mere seconds. The internet speeds in online storage facilities are exceeding up to 100 Gbps. Similar to this, with optical computing, the possibilities are limitless as the current prototypes have barely scratched the surface of the true potential of this technology.
Industrial Applications of Optical Computers:
The benefits of Quantum Computing
Optical Computers have a smaller size, lighter weight, and RFI immunity that make them perfect for military applications. In optical quantum computing, data cannot be hacked externally because it is processed as it travels. This means that optical quantum computing has RFI immunity. RFI immunity implies that it is not hackable while data is moving because there are no electric fields.
Impact of optical computers on Consumer based products
Huge data collectors like Google and cloud storage services such as OneDrive and Google Drive are going to be the first to get their hands on this technology. Consumers could see an exponential improvement in the speed and quality of the service, and this will have a significant impact on their customer base all thanks to optical computers.
The problem with Photonic Computers:
In every revolutionization that has ever been, be it industrial or technological, there have been hurdles or bottlenecks. This is also the case in optical computing. Implementation of Photonic computing will render all current computer hardware obsolete, costing a loss of hundreds of billions of dollars to the world economy.
To tackle this issue, the companies researching this field are trying to integrate light based computing into the current hardware instead of outright replacing it. This may mean that in the future, consumers will be able to buy light based GPU, CPU, and RAMs without having to replace their computers.
It will undoubtedly be a welcome development; however, it will severely limit the propagation of this technology because the main focus will be integration, not advancement.
When will Optical Computers be commercially available?
This technology is not going to hit the consumer market anytime soon. But when it does, it will change the technological world as we know it. Current optical computing projects are under development in future-oriented companies such as Nanosys, TundraSystems Global, and Optalysys. And the results are promising. They have managed to shrink down the size of modern computers even more and are planning on revolutionizing the world of tech utilizing photonic computing.
The developments in the field of technology are forever ongoing; however, the field of optical computing is the most promising. It is makes computing faster, safer, and cheaper. The implementation of this technology is imminent; however, the hardware changes and their cost are the main hurdles in its way to global expansion.
It has massive military, industrial as well as consumer level applications and will hopefully be utilized in these areas in the near future. Now you don’t have to ask anyone ‘’what is optical computing?”. You can know for sure that if the technology of photonic computers rises, and it will, it has the potential to change the world as we know it. (Again