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Boeing Donates Optical Patents to Alabama A&M
Aug 2002
IRVINE, Calif., August 27 -- The Boeing Co. has donated intellectual property to the Alabama A&M University Research Institute that could be used to develop faster, more powerful computers.

The Research Institute will use the donation of patents relating to optical logic and optical computing technology to conduct research in new quantum optical logic gates. Such gates are designed to consume significantly less energy and transmit significantly more data at much higher speeds than current silicon-based computer technology.

Alabama A&M University Research Institute Chief Scientist H. John Caulfield, who is working with Idaho State University logician Jonathan Westphal to develop the optical computer technology, said: "The valuable research that Boeing had conducted into optical computers in the past will help bring -- through this donation -- optical computers closer to reality."

Unlike the silicon-based electrical circuitry used in today's computers, optical computers use light-wave technology and laser beams to process data through the millions of logic gates that comprise the central processing unit, or "brain," of a computer. Because light can travel so much faster and with less resistance between points than electrons passing through wire circuits, optical gates will process significantly more data with significantly less energy.
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