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All-Optical Switching Alternatives for Data Processing

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Progress in optical-driven switching technologies could help fuel a new phase of rapid acceleration in the speed of computer processing and data storage.

MICHAEL EISENSTEIN, SCIENCE WRITER

For decades, computer technology has steadily achieved astonishing gains in performance, but it is becoming increasingly unclear how much longer this rapid progress can continue without considerable technological innovation. A computer rendering of an all-optical switch that combines a graphene layer (pattern) and a nanowaveguide (gray pointer). Courtesy of Masaaki Ono. For example, the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) transistors that have enabled such remarkable advancements in processing power now face physical constraints that could limit future gains in...Read full article

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