A computing device is created, programmable by optical and electrical signals at the same time.

A group of scientists has developed the first electro-optical device that provides a solution for increasing the speed and energy efficiency of computer memory and processors.

Data processing at the speed of light is a tempting perspective, and previously researchers have already demonstrated the possibilities of using photons in various computing processes. However, still optical and traditional electronic computing could not interact with each other due to differences in the functionality of photons and electrons.

To solve this fundamental problem, scientists from Oxford Universities, Munster and Extra played light with nanoscopic sizes, combining the concept of integrated photonics technologies, plasmonics and electronic memory. Created as a result of a compact device can work simultaneously as optical or electrical memory and as a processor.

In this case, information can be stored and processed using photons or electrons, or any combination thereof.

According to the developers, this is a promising way, which will improve the efficiency of data processing and calculation performance, combining the benefits of optical and electronic devices.

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