New technology shows light replacing electricity to perform logicIn Electronics
A new research by University of Pennsylvania unveils a new type of computer circuit which uses light, instead of the conventional electricity to perform its logic. By creating a stack or an array of nano-rods, light can be made to emulate as the various passive electronic components- namely resistor, inductors and capacitors. This light flow through these rods can be regarded as flow of current and voltage. Since both light and electrons follow Maxwell’s principle, the use of light justifies its position. This new technology, called metatronics, will bring more efficient, smaller and comparatively faster chips to replace the conventional technology.
The “meta” in “metatronics” refers to metamaterials, the relatively new field of research where nanoscale patterns and structures embedded in materials allow them to manipulate waves in ways that were previously impossible. Here, the cross-sections of the nanorods and the gaps between them form a pattern that replicates the function of resistors, inductors and capacitors, three of the most basic circuit elements, but in optical wavelengths.
Another notable feature of metatronics is that a single set of nano-circuit can have dual nature, that is it can act as two different circuits in different conditions with the same setup. This is what the researchers call as stereo-circuitry. This will have wide applications in consumer electronics as well, since as mentioned earlier, it will deliver faster performance with better efficiency.
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