New Optical Chirality Logic Gates Offers Ultrafast Processing

Polarized light-based processing devices are one million times faster than current technology. Logic gates are the fundamental components of computer processors. Conventional logic gates are electronic and work by shuffling electrons around. On the other hand, researchers have been working on light-based optical logic gates to meet the data processing and transfer requirements of next-generation computing. Scientists created new optical chirality logic gates a million times faster than existing technologies, allowing ultrafast processing speeds.

The input signal for this new method is circularly polarized light. The logic gates are made of crystalline materials sensitive to the handedness of a circularly polarized light beam, which means that the light emitted by the crystal depends on the handedness of the input beams. It is the basic building block for one type of logic gate (XNOR), and the remaining logic gates are constructed by adding filters or other optical components.

Furthermore, the team demonstrated that all their optical chirality logic gates could operate simultaneously on a single device. It represents a significant advancement over existing logic gates, which can only perform one logic operation simultaneously. Complex, multifunctional logic circuits could be built using simultaneous parallel logic gates. Finally, the researchers demonstrated that the chirality logic gate could be controlled and configured electronically, a prerequisite for hybrid electrical/optical computing.

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