The clock rates of existing computers remain single-gigahertz, but in a significant breakthrough, researchers have achieved super fast clock rates in the terahertz of frequencies by using light.
The researchers say that “electrical currents are best created using semiconductor crystals that absorb light.” Bursts of light usually contain frequencies that are “5,000 times higher than the highest clock rate of modern computer technology.” The experiment conducted at the Max-Born Institute used extremely short, intense light pulses ranging from near-infrared to visible orange color to generate oscillating currents in a semiconductor known as gallium arsenide.
According to the researchers, electrical currents are best created using semiconductor crystals that absorb light. In this case, the oscillations caused the chip to emit terahertz radiation with a bandwidth of up to 20 THz.
It shows that electronic charge transfer can occur between neighboring atoms in the crystal lattice, representing the underlying mechanism.
This breakthrough can have interesting applications in high-frequency electronics, which lead to the development of much faster computers than the existing ones.
Eventually, computers and other related electronics can be run on light and forms of photons, resulting in an ultimate shift towards light-based technologies.