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Wednesday, 03 October 2012 10:17

Boffins speed up downloading

Written by Nick Farrell

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Microscale optical devices developed

Boffins at the University of Minnesota have come up with a way of downloading porn at a super speed by using a microscale optical device. They claim that it could greatly increase the speed of downloading information online and reduce the cost of Internet transmission.

The device uses the force generated by light to flop a mechanical switch of light on and off at a high speed. It could mean advances in computation and signal processing using light, instead of electrical current with higher performance and lower power consumption.

According to the online journal Nature Communications, which we get for its Spot the Bucky Ball competition, the system is similar to electromechanical relays but operates completely with light. Mo Li, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering said that the study is based on a previous discovery by Li and collaborators in 2008 where they found that nanoscale light conduits can be used to generate a strong enough optical force with light to mechanically move the optical waveguide.

In the new device, the researchers found that this force of light is so strong that the mechanical property of the device can be dominated completely by the optical effect rather than its own mechanical structure.

More here.


Nick Farrell

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