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Thread: Light Computing

  1. #1
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Default Light Computing

    I was playing with the fiber-optic cable for my Xbox and I was struck with an idea.

    Processing using light.
    Mirrors, LCDs and lasers positioned just right to get the achieve the right logic for processing seems possible.
    But maybe there's something in the way I don't know of.

    Anyway, if it could be done, parallel processing would be a breeze -- just use two different colors for two streams of data. They won't interfere with one another or lose integrity.
    Different filters for each color turned on and off by liquid crystal relays.

    Would have no trouble at all keeping it cool.

    Seems like since light is goddamn fast, it ought to be unimaginably quicker than electricity.

    Well anyway, I wanna know how come this hasn't been at least discussed.
    we fukin won boys

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nillerz's Avatar
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    Electricity is just as fast as light, innit?

    Problem is if you do it using light you'll need an analog computer first. Analog computers are hella awesome but they require mechanical manipulation of parts. Also, resistors are not possible on a light scale.

  3. #3
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    I think timing would be a major issue.
    If the light source is redirected for to different set of logic before the liquid crystal at the end had time to react and let the light through to confirm logic 1 then the results would be all wrong.
    we fukin won boys

  4. #4
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nillerz View Post
    Electricity is just as fast as light, innit?
    Not even close.

    Problem is if you do it using light you'll need an analog computer first.
    No, that's not a problem.
    Data could be processed faster this way, even though it would ultimately have to be transmitted slower in the end. Still speeds things up.

    Analog computers are hella awesome but they require mechanical manipulation of parts. Also, resistors are not possible on a light scale.
    Would you need a resistor since it's just light?
    we fukin won boys

  5. #5
    Member dyspraxion's Avatar
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    Dust could be a major problem. If a beam of light were blocked, it could screw up the processing, or even alter the commands being used.


  6. #6
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Isn't this shit called optoelectronics or something like that? Believe I read about this a long time ago... And no, electric current does not move as fast as light.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Isn't this shit called optoelectronics or something like that? Believe I read about this a long time ago... And no, electric current does not move as fast as light.
    Yeh they use wavelength division multiplexing (multiple colours) on optical fibres already and have for a decade or two. Speeds across fibre these days because of it are insane. And there are some pretty cool optoelectronic components around. Optical computers are around as an idea. Probably not taken to the level of the op in any practical sense yet though.

    Wavelength-division multiplexing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Photonic integrated circuit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Optical computer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And for Nillerz: yeh, electricity slower than light. Electrons are only that fast in free space.

    Drift velocity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  8. #8
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dyspraxion View Post
    Dust could be a major problem. If a beam of light were blocked, it could screw up the processing, or even alter the commands being used.
    The first thing that comes to mind of what might work to remedy that would be to have charged rods in various places to collect the airborne menaces and keep them out of the crossfire of the lasers.
    we fukin won boys

  9. #9
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    Yeh they use wavelength division multiplexing (multiple colours) on optical fibres already and have for a decade or two. Speeds across fibre these days because of it are insane. And there are some pretty cool optoelectronic components around. Optical computers are around as an idea. Probably not taken to the level of the op in any practical sense yet though.

    Wavelength-division multiplexing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Photonic integrated circuit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Optical computer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Apparently I need to work on my keyword generation skills.

    And for Nillerz: yeh, electricity slower than light. Electrons are only that fast in free space.
    Er...
    What?
    Is it really free space if there are electrons there?
    I've only ever heard that the electrons themselves really only travel at about 8 centimeters per hour.
    But because they push other electrons and so down the chain, the energy is transfered way fucking fast.
    And still light wins the race.
    we fukin won boys

  10. #10
    Member dyspraxion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    The first thing that comes to mind of what might work to remedy that would be to have charged rods in various places to collect the airborne menaces and keep them out of the crossfire of the lasers.
    Electric Pledge?


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