Cal-Berkeley builds large, fast photonic switch array for optical communications, artificial intelligence

BERKELEY, Calif. – Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently than ever. Phys Org reports.

Apr 15th, 2019
Cal-Berkeley builds large, fast photonic switch array for optical communications, artificial intelligence
Cal-Berkeley builds large, fast photonic switch array for optical communications, artificial intelligence
BERKELEY, Calif. – Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently than ever. Phys Org reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

15 April 2019 -- This optical "traffic cop" could one day revolutionize optical communications, and how information travels through data centers and high-performance supercomputers that are used for artificial intelligence and other data-intensive applications.

The photonic switch is built with more than 50,000 microscopic "light switches," each of which directs one of 240 tiny beams of light to either make a right turn when the switch is on, or to pass straight through when the switch is off.

The 240-by-240 array of switches is etched into a silicon wafer and covers an area only slightly larger than a postage stamp.

Related: DARPA eyes microelectronics optical interconnects for high-performance embedded computing boards

Related: DARPA seeks proposals on photonic delays as a building block for optical computing

Related: The new horizon of optical computing

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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