An optical computer (also called a photonic computer) is a device that uses the Photons in visible light or infrared ( IR ) beams,rather than electric current, to perform digital computation. An electric current is flows at only about 10 percent of the Speed of light. This limits the rate at which data can be exchanged over long distance, and is one of the factor that leads to the evolution of optical fiber  . By applying some of the advantages of visible and/or IR networks at the device and components scale, a computer might  be someday  developed that can perform operations 10 or more times faster than a conventional electronic computer.

Visible-light and IR beams, unlike electric currents that pass through each other without interacting. Several (or many) laser  beams can be shone so their path intersect, but there is noo interference among the Beams, even when they are being confined essentially to the two dimensions. Electric currents  should be guided around each other, and this makes 3-dimensional wiring necessary. Thus an optical computer  beside  being much faster than an electronic one  might also be smaller.

Some engineers think optical computing will someday  will be common, but most agreed  that transition will occur in specialized areas ones at a time. Some Optical integrated circuit have been designed and manufactured. (At least one complete, although rather larger, computers has been built using optical circuit.) Three-dimensional, full-motion videos can be transmitted along a bundle of fibers by breaking the images into voxels. Some optical device can be controlled by electronic current, even though  impulses carrying the data are visible light or IR.

Optical technology has made its most significant inroads in digital communication, where fiber optics data transmission has become commonplace. The ultimate goal is the so-calledphotonic network , which uses visible andIR energy exclusively between each source and destination. Optical technology is employed in the  CD-ROM drives and  laser printers, and most photocopiers and scanners. However, none of these device are fully optical; all rely to some extent on conventional electronic circuits and components.


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