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Future Computing

Photonics Spectra
Oct 2001
Is the Lighted Path Still the Way to Go?

Richard Gaughan, Contributing Editor

Seventeen years ago, Alan Huang wrote in the Proceedings of the IEEE about the prospects of optical computing. The barriers were, he said, not so much technological, "but more and more [challenges] of imagination."

Today many of the promises he wrote about remain unfulfilled. Depending upon the definition of optical computing, it's a distant dream, it's right around the corner or it already exists -- and has for hundreds of years…


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