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Published by on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 11:42:00 AM

Surf the Web at the Speed of Light - ABC News

Surf the Web at the Speed of Light - Laser Could Lead to Computer Chips That Operate at Speed of Light. - Light-speed computing is one step closer to reality.

Surf the Web at the Speed of LightScientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a new infrared laser made from germanium that operates at room temperature.

The research removes the cryogenic cooling systems previously needed for infrared lasers and could lead to powerful computer chips that operate at the speed of light.

"Using a germanium laser as a light source, you could communicate at very high data rates at very low power," said Jurgen Michel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who developed the new germanium laser. "Eventually you could have the computing power of today's supercomputers inside a laptop."

The creation of a new laser, even one based on germanium, is not newsworthy; more than 15,000 different lasers, some of which use germanium, have been created since the 1950s. What makes this particular germanium laser unique is that it creates an infrared beam at room temperature.

Until now infrared germanium lasers required expensive cryogenic cooling systems to operate. The new germanium laser operates at room temperature.

Light-Speed Laser Is Still Years Away

To create the germanium laser, the scientists take a six-inch, silvery-gray disk of silicon and spray it with a thin film of germanium. These same disks are actually used to produce chips in today's computers.

An electrically powered, room-temperature, infrared laser for laptop computers is still years away, however, cautioned Michel. If and when those laptops do arrive, they will be powerful -- more powerful in fact than even today's supercomputers.

The battery that powers the laptop won't necessarily last any longer, but the power it does hold will make calculations orders of magnitude faster than today.

"We can't keep doing what we are currently doing," said Tom Koch, a scientist at Lehigh University who was familiar with the work but not directly involved with it.

"We need high-density, low-power solutions," said Koch. Computer chips are constantly getting smaller and smaller, but they are approaching the fundamental limits of electron-based computing. Light-based computing is one option to improve the speed and power of computers.

Written by : ERIC BLAND @ Surf the Web at the Speed of Light - ABC News
Published by IzajAhmed Shaikh.
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I am, Mr. IzajAhmed Shaikh, Computer Professional, and Pro. Blogger, who belongs to Shahabad, Karnataka India. My basic Qualifications are B.Sc., and M.C.M. done from University of Pune, formerly known as, Poona University, also like to write articles based on my personal experiences.