11/3/2005

IBM Created A Chip To Slow Down Light

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 10:26 am

IBM has created a chip that can slow down light, the latest advance in an industrywide effort to develop computers that will use only a fraction of the energy of today’s machines.

The chip, called a photonic silicon waveguide, is a piece of silicon dotted with arrays of tiny holes. Scattered systematically by the holes, light shown on the chip slows down to 1/300th of its ordinary speed of 186,000 miles per second. In a computer system, slower light pulses could carry data rapidly, but in an orderly fashion. The light can be further slowed by applying an electric field to the waveguide.

Researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, have slowed light in laboratories. IBM, though, claims that its light-slowing device is the first to be fashioned out of fairly standard materials, potentially paving the way toward commercial adoption.

Source: News.com

 

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