Found a way to overclock the computers to “speed of light”


Image: University of Konstanz

European physicists have developed the experimental setup.

A group of European scientists have found a way of electron transfer in semiconductor circuits scale in the femtosecond range, affecting the particles of light. In the future it will allow you to create ultra-fast computing devices such as computers whose clock frequency is comparable with the oscillation of the light wave. Briefly about the study reported in a press release on phys.org (translation — lenta.ru).

Physics has developed experimental set-up with ultra-fast laser capable of producing 100 millions of light pulses per second. The design also includes nanostructures made of gold, suitable for precision measurement and manipulation of electrons. With a laser was able to “switch” electric current with a speed of approximately 600 attoseconds (600 to 10 to the minus 18-degree second).

This process occurs on time scales which are less than half the period of oscillation of the electric field of the light pulse.

Modern electronic components based on silicon semiconductors, can switch in picoseconds (10 to the minus 12-degree second). Mobile devices work at frequencies of the order of gigahertz, and some transistors at the frequency of the order of terahertz (10 to the 12th degree Hertz). However, a further increase in speed is a challenge.

The scientific results allow us to understand how light interacts with matter inside the semiconductor. Based on the approach of manipulating electrons using light, scientists might investigate the electron transfer in the devices of a larger scale.