Photonic Chips Will Change Computing Forever… If We Can Get Them Right



the electrons shuffling around inside our computers move pretty fast theoretically their top speed in silicon is up to a hundred thousand meters per second which is good because the faster they can move the faster chips can do calculations the faster I can refresh Twitter but there will always be something faster light why don't we use photons in computers instead of electrons we already use photons for communication fiber-optic cables are what keep the globe's computers interconnected as they hurting data around at light speed but when it comes time to process that data we convert light to electrons and run them through transistors the conversion uses energy and electrons are comparatively slow so researchers are exploring how to build light based transistors instead transistors are the fundamental building block of your computer's central processing unit they're basically nano scale switches that will either stop current or let it flow it's important that a transistors output can act as the input for the next transistor actually it has to be able to send the current on to at least two transistors for logic signals to propagate and it has to preserve that signal quality to keep errors to a minimum we have made optical switches but for one reason or another they don't work as a replacement for the silicon transistors we use in electronics like because the output signal is a different wavelength than the input making controlling the next switch in line difficult or the design for the switch is too big in the micron scale instead of the nanoscale so gains in speed come at the expense of size or the design requires a cloud of supercooled atoms which isn't exactly practical even though scientists have been trying since the 60s an optical transistor that can replace an electrical one has never materialized like trying to build a photonic chip that mimics how a human brain performs calculations scientists at MIT have built a chip that uses beams of light sent through channels of silicon to mimic a neural network the beams split and combine and travel at different speeds as the silicon is heated and cooled brighter beams represent bigger numbers and as these beams split combine and interfere with each other their brightness changes effectively performing several small multiplication problems lightning-fast they've applied this photonic chip to train a neural network to understand sounds and have had modest success they think they can improve their results dramatically by making a purpose-built system instead of the jury-rigged proof-of-concept they tested but given how optical computing has historically failed to live up to expectations skeptics aren't holding their breath before we see an all light ship will probably see hybrid opto electronic systems that take advantage of Lights ability to transmit data quickly across large distances but until transistors reach their lower size limit and can't improve anymore it looks like we'll be relying on slow old electrons to do the mathematical heavy lifting we haven't found our way to the future of computing yet so make sure you're ready when we finally get there by starting your very own website with domain.com domain.com is awesome affordable reliable and has all the tools you need to build a new website they can fulfill all your website needs they offer calm and dotnet domain names and intuitive website builders they have over 300 domain extensions to fit your needs from dot ninja to dog 2 dot love take the first step in creating an identity online and visit domain.com whywould transistors have a lower size limit while you can blame quantum weirdness trace explains why we might one day ditch silicon here fun fact there's a disagreement whether light based computers or quantum computers are the future but thanks to the nature of light it's possible future computers could be both thanks for watching and I'll see you next time on seeker

40 Comments

  1. Alkeryn said:

    The best with optical computer isn't that photons are faster (and they aren't by much)
    The good part is that you could increase the frequency to THZ due to the fact that it dosen't heat as much
    plus you could stack thousands of layers because you don't need to cool them really
    so you could have computers that are about 1 million times more powerful for even less energy consumption
    plus you can split the signal and merge it with optics so you could have great parralel computing extensions.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  2. Alvin said:

    So is electrical engineering dead?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  3. Christian Bottenfield said:

    As others have noted, light does not really increase the "speed" at which the computing functions actually occur. In fact, in silicon photonic modulators for example, the electrical waves move FASTER than the light. We have to remember that electrical waves operate by the same fundamental electromagnetic principles as light (just at different frequencies). Copper slows electromagnetic waves less than silicon. The benefit of photonics is bandwidth, rather than switching speed, for example. Photonics is good for moving data inter-chip rather than intra-chip. This is being implemented by companies like Ayar Labs.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  4. ALI EJAZ said:

    https://itechpulse.com/light-based-computers-could-work-5000-times-faster/

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  5. Tan Akinci said:

    Why you guys added "domain.com" commercial which tells about making sites without code after talking about optical chips?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  6. Jim Murray said:

    Above reads, “According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, this should not have been possible.”

    According to the scriptures of life, “Stop simply believing everything you see and hear without first conducting some form of personal, hands-on research and/or experimentation before blindly stumbling down the path of least resistance , only to find more of the same old, same old information. Often more times than not, this data proves to be pointless if the information isn’t understood. Question everything , analyze, research, learn, share and teach your findings supporting approval or disapproval.

    We need to make informed choices, learn and teach all we can and spread love, constructively criticize all things while embracing personal shortcomings and missed achievements as improvement opportunities.

    Academia has long enough been passing off vast amounts of toxic, unfounded information, which has infected a plethora of intelligent minds. The very foundation on which fundamental education was built, was designed gathering poor quality materials, left incomplete, deteriorating, stealing away architectural integrity from an already unstable base flawed by design.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  7. Drink NukaClassic said:

    Why not use light in Quantum Computers? Light waves move in more than than up and down.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  8. Punk Rock Piper said:

    Here is a perfect example
    Of how “science” is bullshit. 60
    Years of the worlds smartest over 3 generation still can’t figure out what God created in seconds. Let me know when you crack that self learning bio-photonics.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  9. truman show said:

    New main technologies like AI may require the advancement of conventional main technologies

    like quantum computing, optical computing or neurocomputing, giving returns to these existing technologies.

    I hope new techs centered AI and policies to utilize them will achieve the sustainability of human civilization 💖.

    https://ameblo.jp/lovelucifer/entry-12266020322.html
    / https://ameblo.jp/lovelucifer/entry-12429842470.html

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  10. aoeu256 said:

    How difficult is it to etch optical transistors into glass or ice using the suns power to burn glass or ice? If you had self-replicating 3D printers out of ice (terraforming mars) and sand-glass (could also terraform Mars, but its good to build houses and things in the Sahara dessert) then via exponential growth (1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 512 1k 2k 4k 8k… 1 trillion in 4 generations) you can build all kinds of legos and use these legos to bulid things. They can also give you infinite energy via using there ice/glass lenses to power heat-pumps or chemical reactions. I can see the wheels and other moving parts all being created of glass/ice, as well as the extruding "arms", but how to give each 3D printer something that can compete or follow directions to build itself seems like the hardest part. Creating gears that translate etches in ice/sand (in ice/glass) into printer commands is possible.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  11. Mahamad Alkarim said:

    If we are to use light we must abandon semiconductors & start using crystals, like a multiple layered crystal boards & chips with printed optical pathways & simply the calculating instructions can take the form of these optical pathways

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  12. John Vatic said:

    anyone from 2134, did we make it ?!

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  13. Harley Me said:

    so its that simple.. you change nothing in the current way we compute things and simply swap transistor for a simple led and light sensor. why do these company's think we have to make everything so small..
    personally. I dont care if my pc case has to be 4 foot sqaure.. jesus we already own a dec alpha mainframe lol

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  14. Just a speck in the universe said:

    I see there aren't any serious comments here. You are all just competing to make the best joke.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  15. 磊赵 said:

    The “black light” digital photon computer.
    Stronger crossing laser reduces the excited atom population, and stops the laser device working, then a non-gate is realized. The crossing laser is vividly called "black light".
    The electronic computer is reaching its speed limit, most of the quantum computers can only do simulation operation, most of photon computers are expensive and slow and also simulational. I invented a photon computer that is cheap faster and digital.

    1 A review to the laser principle
    When an atom of the laser crystal is irradiated by the light from the pump source, it absorbs a photon and is excited. When a photon passes by an atom, the atom emits a photon witch has the same attributes(direction frequency and phase) as the passer-by photon. The atom backs to the ground state,and the new photon has a different polarization direction, witch is random.

    2 The“black-light” non-gate

    The digital light circuit is binary. Assume that that light exists is 1,while that light non-exists is 0. To realize a non-gate, light existence must be changed to light non-existence, and also the inverse process. The phenomenon from light to no light, is vividly called “black-light”.

    At the beginning, the laser works in the left and right direction normally. To do a non operation, strong light iirradiates from up and down to the crystal; then the the laser works in the up and down direction. The reason is that: after the light from up irradiation, the count of the excited atoms in the laser crystal decreases, that leads to the stop of laser working in left and right direction. By the way the light from up must be strong enough.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  16. Tommi Miettinen said:

    Funny ears

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  17. Lasertech Photonics - Laser Diodes & Photonics said:

    Best Wishes from Lasertech Photonics, Email: [email protected], Website: www.lasertech-photonics.com

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  18. TheMaxxer214 said:

    Who cares about the future. What about this niggas ears

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  19. SimoWilliams said:

    lul…skeptics never hold their breath 😛

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  20. Leslie Porter said:

    Brilliant. I think we're close to a breakthrough. All that's needed is time, focus, and funding. Great commentary.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  21. Over Dripp said:

    I think the age of sythetic organic computers is when robotics and inherently artificial intelligence, will be on par with human capabilities; with regard to regeneration and even autonomy.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  22. Over Dripp said:

    I like when Julian explains things I seem to understand him better. It may be his tone. I dont get distracted by how he says something and can instead focus on what he is actually saying.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  23. Kris G. said:

    Optalysys is about to offer for sale their optical co-processor that can be plugged to a PCI-E port https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55JK5bDLoAg

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  24. Jonathan Rhodes said:

    lol. It's ironic that 'the future could be both' when we're talking about quantum computing.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  25. Preston Ferry said:

    I thought electricity was just as fast as light!

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  26. Andrei D.haxor said:

    Wouldn't using photons instead of electrons make our devices photronics?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  27. Krzysztof Filip Maksymilian Stypuła said:

    So what is the main problem for building photo-transistor coz I couldn't get it from this video..

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  28. US Of Zion said:

    China has already developed this. 😂😂😂

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  29. Bill Oddy said:

    1:00 Nope.
    No current.
    Just voltage!

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  30. TinFoilVeteran said:

    It's not the speed of the electrons that is the problem, it's the heating and complicated data management. With light computing, data can be computed in real time without needing to go through the cache, v-ram, ram, hard drives. And all without generating a lot of heat.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  31. Andrew Kelley said:

    You guys I have to tell you this the best way to create way to make a optical transistor is by using three sources of light and switching between two of them then useing the interference pattern. So the guys working on this are pretty close. I mean really close all they have to do now is add that and a data line memory and they will have a working model.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  32. Paul T said:

    We may be getting closer. https://youtu.be/UWMEKex6nYA

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  33. Shaka Deng said:

    Meanwhile the Chinese already have working photonic quantum chip prototypes in china

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  34. Jeffrey Photonboy said:

    "we'll probably take advantage of lights ability to transmit data across large distances"

    Wow, that is a fantastic idea! Wireless transmission of data… if only there was some practical use case like wi-fi, lasers or mice, IR remotes etc… sure, you meant "large" to mean between local chips likely but guess what… that is already MUCH SLOWER than just running a copper wire since instead of dealing with electron drift speeds (which is fast) you have to:
    1) use electrons to create photons
    2) transmit photons
    3) receive photons
    4) turn photons back into electrons

    Maybe I'm wrong, but is there really a use-case for SHORT optical transmission like that?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  35. mar c said:

    Really?? Will it change the american government?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  36. Miki Cerise said:

    Electrons already move plenty fast enough. It's not their speed that is a problem, it's the heat. We can run those switches much faster if want, it's just that they'll melt. 😉 That's why we've been stuck at about 4.5 GHz for awhile now. The big hope for photonics from what I understand is that it will take less energy to manipulate wavelengths of light, and so you can run the transistors many more times per second before they got as hot as our modern processors do. That is where the speed gain would come from.

    As for opto-electronic systems where information is sent using light and electronics are used to perform calculations… eh, that was weird… I had to double check the date on this video when you said it. We already have them: fibre optics. That's what I'm using to communicate with you. Well, I've been told the US is still mostly on copper and DSL. 😉 But in Europe and Asia at least most information is already transmitted optically over long distances between electronic terminals. In any case, the main advantage of fibre optics over electronics from what I understand isn't so much to do with the speed of electrons or photons, it's bandwidth. We see that as speed because bandwidth is parceled out among customers, so the more customers the less 'parcels' you get for a given time.

    But really… electron speed over wires is more than fast enough for practically any application on Earth. Even if we found some sort of particle much slower but that somehow require much less energy to manipulate it would still make calculations much faster. 😉

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  37. Kiki Lang said:

    You can make a computer out of water tansisters. It never caught on. I wonder why?

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  38. hendrix4151 said:

    im looking foward to a future where computers are used to control people and get people not to support evil behavior like abortion,polluting, immodesty, stealing, gambling, bad performance, gay marraige, sexual assault, poisoned and horrible food, drugs, porn, prostitution and violence for entertainment..satanic bipolar music, or bullying in schools. those are abominations. who ever controls the currency controls the world. you can not buy or sell without money and your survival depends on the government ruled by the traditional catholic church. i think it's been shown that alot of people abuse their freedom a quarter of Americans have a sexually transmitted disease. the 2008 economic collapse was caused by horrible behavior. liberty allows bad people to persecute good people throw them all in jail.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  39. Roger didit said:

    Two days after we have so ent billions in research, the Chinese which are seeded throughout our nation's research labs and universities, will have the details and be ready to ship them to us at dumping prices to control the market.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  40. Liberty Warrior said:

    I would comment about this guys ears, but I'm scared he'll hear me.

    May 23, 2019
    Reply

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