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Primeur weekly 2020-02-10

Exascale supercomputing

Tachyum's reference design will be used in a 2021 AI/HPC supercomputer ...

Quantum computing

Forschungszentrum Jülich to establish technology laboratory for quantum computers ...

FEFU scientists developed method to build up functional elements of quantum computers ...

New quantum switch turns metals into insulators ...

Focus on Europe

International Advanced Research Workshop on High Performance Computing to issue Call for Participation ...

EPSRC appoints Mark Parsons Director of Research Computing ...

e-IRG Workshop "Grand challenges of e-Infrastructures within the new ERA" to issue Call for Participation ...

BigDFT4CHEM wins the EXDCI Call for Spin-off Initiatives (SPI) ...

Eni unveils its new supercomputing system HPC5, the world's most powerful for industrial use ...

Tachyum CEO Dr. Radoslav Danilak discusses 'Bringing Slovakia to the Forefront of the Digital Age' at CEO Forum ...

Middleware

KU Leuven joins the iRODS Consortium ...

Sylabs has released SingularityPRO 3.5 ...

Hardware

DDN named finalist in Storage Magazine and SearchStorage 2019 Products of the Year awards ...

Fujitsu receives supercomputer order from Nagoya University's Information Technology Center ...

Controlling light with light ...

WekaIO recognized as a coolest Cloud company by CRN ...

Samsung to Advance High Performance Computing Systems with Launch of Industry's First 3rd-generation (16GB) HBM2E ...

Xperi enters into new patent and technology license agreement with SK hynix ...

Supermicro announces second quarter fiscal 2020 financial results ...

Applications

BSC European supercomputing centre that most has contributed to Pan-Cancer ...

March 2020 HPC User Forum will showcase AI, energy research and other HPC areas ...

Deep learning accurately forecasts heat waves and cold spells ...

Retina-inspired carbon nitride-based photonic synapses for selective detection of UV light ...

Computer simulation for understanding brain cancer growth ...

Gordon examining secure computation ...

Fusion squeeze, global image mapping, computing mental health, and Na+ batteries at Oak Ridge National Laboratory ...

SDSC supercomputer models improve Oregon/Washington coastal forecasts ...

Protein Data Bank archive adds new coronavirus protease structure ...

Controlling light with light

5 Feb 2020 Cambridge - The future of computation is bright - literally. Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), in collaboration with researchers at McMaster University and University of Pittsburgh, have developed a new platform for all-optical computing, meaning computations done solely with beams of light.

"Most computation right now uses hard materials such as metal wires, semiconductors and photodiodes to couple electronics to light", stated Amos Meeks, a graduate student at SEAS and co-first author of the research. "The idea behind all-optical computing is to remove those rigid components and control light with light. Imagine, for example, an entirely soft, circuitry-free robot driven by light from the sun."

These platforms rely on so-called non-linear materials that change their refractive index in response to the intensity of light. When light is shone through these materials, the refractive index in the path of the beam increases, generating its own, light-made waveguide. Currently, most non-linear materials require high-powered lasers or are permanently changed by the transmission of light.

Here, researchers developed a fundamentally new material that uses reversible swelling and contracting in a hydrogel under low laser power to change the refractive index.

The hydrogel is composed of a polymer network that is swollen with water, like a sponge, and a small number of light-responsive molecules known as spiropyran - which is similar to the molecule used to tint transition lenses. When light is shone through the gel, the area under the light contracts a small amount, concentrating the polymer and changing the refractive index. When the light is turned off, the gel returns to its original state.

When multiple beams are shone through the material, they interact and affect each other, even at large distances. Beam A could inhibit Beam B, Beam B could inhibit Beam A, both could cancel each other out or both could go through - creating an optical logic gate.

"Though they are separated, the beams still see each other and change as a result", stated Kalaichelvi Saravanamuttu, an associate professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster and co-senior author of the study. "We can imagine, in the long term, designing computing operations using this intelligent responsiveness."

"Not only can we design photoresponsive materials that reversibly switch their optical, chemical and physical properties in the presence of light, but we can use those changes to create channels of light, or self-trapped beams, that can guide and manipulate light", stated co-author Derek Morim, a graduate student in Kalaichelvi Saravanamuttu's lab.

"Materials science is changing", stated Joanna Aizenberg, the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science at SEAS and co-senior author of the study. "Self-regulated, adaptive materials capable of optimizing their own properties in response to environment replace static, energy-inefficient, externally regulated analogs. Our reversibly responsive material that controls light at exceptionally small intensities is yet another demonstration of this promising technological revolution."

This research was published in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It was co-authored by Ankita Shastri, Andy Tran, Anna V. Shneidman, Victor V. Yashin, Fariha Mahmood, Anna C. Balazs. It was supported in part by the US Army Research Office under Award W911NF-17-1-0351 and by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

Source: Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2020-02-10

Exascale supercomputing

Tachyum's reference design will be used in a 2021 AI/HPC supercomputer ...

Quantum computing

Forschungszentrum Jülich to establish technology laboratory for quantum computers ...

FEFU scientists developed method to build up functional elements of quantum computers ...

New quantum switch turns metals into insulators ...

Focus on Europe

International Advanced Research Workshop on High Performance Computing to issue Call for Participation ...

EPSRC appoints Mark Parsons Director of Research Computing ...

e-IRG Workshop "Grand challenges of e-Infrastructures within the new ERA" to issue Call for Participation ...

BigDFT4CHEM wins the EXDCI Call for Spin-off Initiatives (SPI) ...

Eni unveils its new supercomputing system HPC5, the world's most powerful for industrial use ...

Tachyum CEO Dr. Radoslav Danilak discusses 'Bringing Slovakia to the Forefront of the Digital Age' at CEO Forum ...

Middleware

KU Leuven joins the iRODS Consortium ...

Sylabs has released SingularityPRO 3.5 ...

Hardware

DDN named finalist in Storage Magazine and SearchStorage 2019 Products of the Year awards ...

Fujitsu receives supercomputer order from Nagoya University's Information Technology Center ...

Controlling light with light ...

WekaIO recognized as a coolest Cloud company by CRN ...

Samsung to Advance High Performance Computing Systems with Launch of Industry's First 3rd-generation (16GB) HBM2E ...

Xperi enters into new patent and technology license agreement with SK hynix ...

Supermicro announces second quarter fiscal 2020 financial results ...

Applications

BSC European supercomputing centre that most has contributed to Pan-Cancer ...

March 2020 HPC User Forum will showcase AI, energy research and other HPC areas ...

Deep learning accurately forecasts heat waves and cold spells ...

Retina-inspired carbon nitride-based photonic synapses for selective detection of UV light ...

Computer simulation for understanding brain cancer growth ...

Gordon examining secure computation ...

Fusion squeeze, global image mapping, computing mental health, and Na+ batteries at Oak Ridge National Laboratory ...

SDSC supercomputer models improve Oregon/Washington coastal forecasts ...

Protein Data Bank archive adds new coronavirus protease structure ...