Glass material to boost computing speed


Researchers had a major breakthrough when they used a newly made material of glass to transfer data at a much higher speed between computers. The glass material takes advantage of speed of light to transfer data. The newly developed technology will boost the data transfer rate; hence, will increase the computing power of a computer by solving the bottleneck problem due to low disk speed, claimed scientists from the University of Surrey, University of Cambridge and the University of Southampton who led to the discovery.

To develop the new material, researchers used amorphous chalcogenides, an age-old material that is used in construction of compact disks and DVD.

“The challenge is to find a single material that can effectively use and control light to carry information around a computer.” said Richard Curry, project leader at the university. “Much like how the web uses light to deliver information, we want to use light to both deliver and process computer data,”

Present computer technology uses electrons to transmit and process data, but this revolutionary development will accelerate the data transmission and processing speed by an enormous margin. While implementing optical fiber scientists have used light for transmission of data over a long distance, but it is the first time that researchers have found success in transmitting data using light within a computer.

“This has eluded researchers for decades, but now we have now shown how a widely used glass can be manipulated to conduct negative electrons, as well as positive charges, creating what are known as ‘pn-junction’ devices.” Curry added. “This should enable the material to act as a light source, a light guide and a light detector — something that can carry and interpret optical information.”
The new technology could change whole computer industry and transform the computers of tomorrow. Computers will work at a much faster speed; robots will become smarter, in fact, we might get to see a robot that is as smart as depicted in several robot oriented movies including iRobot and Real Steel.

The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

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