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Optical processing paradigms for electronic computers

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3 Author(s)
P. A. Mitkas ; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO, USA ; G. A. Betzos ; L. Irakliotis

Even if electronics were to reach some natural law, the authors state that photonics is not ready to replace electronics as the new platform for digital data processing. On the other hand, they say, photonics can greatly enhance the performance of electronic computers. Photonics already contributes to the fields of data storage and data communication. The missing link, however, between storage and communication is data processing. The authors describe a special optoelectronic architecture that can support data processing. In the context of their research, the authors discuss three computing paradigms: analog optical processing, which entails analog operations on sets of analog data obtained by a camera lens, for example; digital optical processing, which involves the use of light to perform digital logic; and analog-digital hybrid optical processing, which involves hybrid techniques and systems that can process both types of data.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 2 )