Computing with Light

Jan 27, 2024
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I invented a way to compute with light several years ago. I've been pondering on it off and on for several years now.

The CPU is a register of Laser diodes.

Then you have function crystals.
The function crystals have beam splitters and facets and mirrors to bounce the lasers around , to perform functions.

Then ; the function crystals read out to a CPU output register..
The CPU would operate at the frequency of the laser diodes , around 1 GHZ. or so.

So only the memory and registers would only ever go bad.

It would be good for NASA computing , for long haul flights that last decades or centuries.
You only need to pack in extra CPU laser registers and memory and output registers.

I got the idea from "2001 A Space Oddesy" with the HAL computer. "HAL" was all light operated with banks and banks of crystals.
Optical computing has advanced to the point it is being used in some niche areas. It is hamstrung by two things, 1) the interaction of a single photon is very much less than the energy of an electron moving in a semiconductor thus optical computers must use more power 2) fast operation is foiled by dispersion in the fibers used to move the photons.
However, certain problems lend themselves more to optics than semiconductors. One is the Subset Sum problem. Given a set of numbers is there a subset that adds to a certain sum? Also the Traveling Salesman problem is better solved on an optical computer.
This may all be made moot when, and if, quantum computing matures.