28th September, 2017 (MAINS)


Q1. What do you understand by optical computing? Why is optical computing envisaged to have much better performance than that of electronic computing? [15marks/2006/GS-3] 150 words.

Please write answer in the comments section.

  • Sarkar S

    Optical computing can also be called as photonic computing. It is a method of using “photons” of electromagnetic radiations such as light, IR, Laser in place of electric current. Normally electric current travels at 10% of the speed of light, hence by the use of optical computing the speed of computation can be increased by 10 folds. Also another factor of importance is that different types of electromagnetic radiations can pass through each other without interaction for example IR rays can pass through visible light, Laser beams can intersect and have no interaction thus it would be possible to build 2D circuits. But electric current cannot intersect and have no interaction, hence it is necessary to route current in 3D circuits. This can make optical computing devices much slimmer than electronic devices. Also data transfer over great distance could be done with much ease and less loss by the use of optical computing.