Photonics News: Week in Brief: 12/31/2021

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PARIS — Photonic computing hardware developer LightOn integrated a photonic coprocessor into the Jean Zay supercomputer, one of the 500 most powerful computers in the world. The integration of the optical processing unit into a high-performance computer is reportedly the first demonstration of its kind. The insertion of the coprocessor is a light-based alternative to electrical current, which is commonly used to transmit and processor information in computers. The work stems from a pilot program with GENCI (Grand équipement national de calcul intensif) and IDRIS (Institute for Development and Resources in Intensive Scientific Computing). The LightOn photonic coprocessor will be available to selected users of the Jean Zay research community over the next few months, the company said.

ULSAN, South Korea — Chemical companies SK Geo Centric and Tokuyama will launch a joint venture to produce and sell high-purity isopropyl alcohol, a cleaner for liquid crystal displays and wafers for the semiconductor industry, following an investment of roughly 120 billion KRW ($100.92 million) from Tokuyama. The 50-50 joint venture will lead to the development of a manufacturing plant that will begin operations in 2023.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Satellite imagery collection company Satellogic will construct a manufacturing facility in the Netherlands. The 5700-sq-ft facility will accelerate the assemblage of satellites and accommodate manufacturing, integration, and testing equipment. The company’s vice president of manufacturing operations, Gustav Wenhold, will lead operations at the facility. The company expects the facility to reach full production capacity of 25 satellites per quarter by the third quarter of 2023. Satellogic said its existing assembly, integration, and test facility in Uruguay will mainly function as a pilot plant for next-generation satellites. Satellogic is expected to list as a public company following a merger with a specialty purpose acquisition company that the company said is projected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021.

Published: December 2021
liquid crystal
Liquid crystals are a state of matter that exhibits properties intermediate between those of conventional liquids and solid crystals. In a liquid crystal, the molecules are ordered like those in a crystal, but they can still flow like a liquid. This unique combination of structural order and fluidity gives liquid crystals their distinctive characteristics and makes them valuable in various technological applications, particularly in display technology. Key features and characteristics of...
liquid crystal display
An alphanumeric display formed by a layer of liquid crystal material sandwiched between two sheets of glass; a transparent conductive coating on the glass is etched to form the character segments. An applied voltage causes the appropriate segments to darken as the molecules in the liquid crystal change their arrangement.
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