Enabling the Optical Computing Era

Moore’s Law is dead.

After more than 50 years driving explosive growth in computing, Moore’s Law is dead. With Moore’s Law gone, traditional CMOS-based chips can only get faster through increased specialization, more complexity, and higher power usage. The future of high-performance cloud computing requires chips that run much faster while using far less power.

The only viable approach: optical computing.

The birth of the optical computing era has initiated a new Moore’s Law that promises exponential performance growth for decades to come.

The future of computing is optical.

The same approach that sends light through fiber-optic cables for 100 miles without amplification now works at microprocessor scale. Optical computing processes data 1,000 times faster and using 1/100th the power of CMOS technology. Optical computing reduces data center power consumption and carbon footprints; improves communication between cores on a chip; and supports the coming 5G wireless revolution.

NLM materials enable the optical future.

Seattle-based Nonlinear Materials Corporation (NLM) has exclusively licensed proprietary materials and methods developed by University of Washington researchers to deliver “fiber-optic networks on a chip.”

In an industry first, NLM allows major chip and computer manufacturers to integrate low-power, high-speed optical computing components into existing production lines.

NLM is at the forefront, leading the way to the optical computing era.

Legacy: Copper & Fiber Optic

    Global networks of electronic devices were networked together using a combination of fiber-optic cable and copper wire to create the Internet.

Present: Fiber Optic

    Internet trunk networks and telecom networks are now operated exclusively using fiber-optic cable. Fiber-optic cable is also becoming more prevalent in datacenter network terminals and network hardware.

Initial Target: Optical Transport in Data Center

    NLM is working to extend the benefits of fiber-optics throughout the entire datacenter, including optical transport between network terminals, network hardware, and local devices. Beyond the datacenter, optical transport is also being deployed at the physical device layer within network interfaces.

Next Step: Optical Chip Interconnects

    Chip architecture will be incrementally improved by introducing electro-optic materials into CMOS semiconductors, with interconnections between the CPU, GPU and memory chips. Electro-Optic materials can also be combined with electronics within CPU and GPU chip designs.

The Future is Optical: Optical Processing

    All-optical chip designs encompassing GPU, CPU, and memory.