An international team of scientists have developed a photonic processor that uses rays of light inside silicon chips to process information much faster than conventional electronic chips. Published in Nature, the breakthrough study was carried out by scientists from EPFL, the Universities of Oxford, Münster, Exeter, Pittsburgh, and IBM Research – Zurich.
The exponential growth of data traffic in our digital age poses some real challenges on processing power. And with the advent of machine learning and AI in, for example, self-driving vehicles and speech recognition, the upward trend is set to continue. All this places a heavy burden on the ability of current computer processors to keep up with demand.
Now, an international team of scientists has turned to light to tackle the problem. The researchers developed a new approach and architecture that combines processing and data storage onto a single chip by using light-based, or “photonic” processors, which are shown to surpass conventional electronic chips by processing information much more rapidly and in parallel.
Source: “Light-based processors boost machine-learning processing”, Nick Papageorgiou, EPFL News