Over the past few years there has been a rapid development in the use of optical techniques for communication and information processing. Most successful of these has been fibre-optics technology, now increasingly penetrating communications networks throughout the world. A new technology is now emerging based around the phenomenon of optical-bistability. This aims at developing all optical digital techniques, equivalent to conventional digital electronics but taking advantage of the ability of a single beam of light to carry independent information in a parallel manner. With the processing rate of microelectronics rapidly becoming restricted by (RC limited) communication times between logic gates, rather than gate switching times, an optical digital processor could achieve unprecedented data handling rates.
|Publication status||Published - 1984|