Hexbyte Glen Cove Breakthrough discovery in light interactions with nanoparticles paves the way for advances in optical computing

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Scattered waves from a nanoscale object encode the solution of a complex mathematical problem when interrogated by tailored input signals. Credit: Heedong Goh

Computers are an indispensable part of our daily lives, and the need for ones that can work faster, solve complex problems more efficiently, and leave smaller environmental footprints by minimizing the required energy for computation is increasingly urgent. Recent progress in photonics has shown that it’s possible to achieve more efficient computing through optical devices that use interactions between metamaterials and light waves to apply mathematical operations of interest on the input signals, and even solve complex mathematical problems. But to date, such computers have required a large footprint and precise, large-area fabrication of the components, which, because of their size, are difficult to scale into more complex networks.

A newly published paper in Physical Review Letters from researchers at the Advanced Science Research Center at the CUNY Graduate Center (CUNY ASRC) details a breakthrough discovery in nanomaterials and -wave interactions that paves the way for development of small, low-energy optical computers capable of advanced computing.

“The increasing energy demands of large data centers and inefficiencies in current computing architectures have become a real challenge for our society,” said Andrea Alù, Ph.D., the paper’s corresponding author, founding director of the CUNY ASRC’s Photonics Initiative and Einstein Professor of Physics at the Graduate Center. “Our work demonstrates that it’s possible to design a nanoscale object that can efficiently interact with light to solve complex mathematical problems with unprecedented speeds and nearly zero energy demands.”

In their study, CUNY ASRC researchers designed a nanoscale object made of silicon so that, when interrogated with carrying an arbitrary input signal, it is able to encode the corresponding solution of a complex mathematical problem into the scattered light. The solution is calculated at the speed of light, and with minimal energy consumption.”

“This finding is promising because it offers a practical pathway for creating a new generation of very energy-efficient, ultrafast, ultracompact nanoscale optical computers and other nanophotonic technologies that can be used for classical and quantum computations,” said Heedong Goh, Ph.D., the paper’s lead author and a postdoctoral research associate with Alù’s lab. “The very small size of these nanoscale optical computers is particularly appealing for scalability, because multiple nanostructures can be combined and connected together through light scattering to realize complex nanoscale computing networks.”

More information:
Heedong Goh et al, Nonlocal Scatterer for Compact Wave-Based Analog Computing, Physical Review Letters (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.128.073201

Breakthrough discovery in light interactions with nanoparticles paves the way for advances in optical computing (2022, February 25)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove World's first commercial re-programmable satellite blasts into space thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove World’s first commercial re-programmable satellite blasts into space

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

The world’s first commercial fully re-programmable satellite lifted off from French Guiana on Friday on board an Ariane 5 rocket, ushering in a new era of more flexible communications.

Unlike conventional models that are designed and “hard-wired” on Earth and cannot be repurposed once in orbit, the Eutelsat Quantum allows users to tailor the communications to their needs—almost in .

The satellite will be placed in orbit some 36 minutes after the launch.

Because it can be reprogrammed while orbiting in a fixed position 35,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) above the Earth, the Quantum can respond to changing demands for and secure communications during its 15-year lifetime, according to the European Space Agency.

The 3.5 ton Quantum model has eight communications beams, each of which can be modified to change its area of coverage and also the power of the telecommunications signal it emits.

Using software made available to the customer, these changes can be made “in a matter of minutes”, according to Eutelsat.

This means the satellite can be used to provide mobile coverage for moving objects such as aircraft or oceangoing vessels, or to provide coverage after a natural disaster or for one-off events.

And at a time of growing concern over digital security—as well as the possible weaponising of space—Quantum is able to pinpoint the origin of signals emitted with or without malicious intent and take action to remedy the interference.

The Quantum will cover a large geographical area from West Africa to Asia for 15 years.

© 2021 AFP

World’s first commercial re-programmable satellite blasts into space (2021, July 30)
retrieved 31 July 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-07-world-commercial-re-programmable-satellite-blasts.html

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