The advantages of optical computing over electronic computing

There are many advantages of optical computing over electronic computing. Optical technology may not have fully developed yet, but individual high-tech components are already available. It will be a few years before a complete optical computer could be developed.

The current optical computing systems are in the prototype phase and don't fully represent the functionalities of optical computing. The main advantages of the new technology over conventional electronic computing are as following.

The first major advantage of optical computing over traditional computing systems is in terms of performance. Test systems are under development, but theoretically it is claimed that optical computers based on photons can outperform their electronic computing systems which are based on relatively slower electrons.

The second advantage of optic computing over electronic computing is that it involves lesser consumption of energy. A traditional CPU for example runs on at least 120W during normal usage, 250W during high-performance mode and 80W in idle state.

Modern high-performance or gaming systems require GPUs that consume another 150W. While the computer industry has been busy developing more energy-saving electronic components, optical computing components are far ahead in saving power.

The third advantage of using optic computing systems is that they produce lesser amount of heat. The laser beams used in such systems are made up of a tiny spectrum of different wavelengths. The heat produced by these lasers is relatively lesser compared to electronic components.

Light doesn’t produce any sound, and thus the fourth advantage of optic computing systems is that they are not noisy. Even the latest electronic computers will produce some amount of noise, howsoever inconspicuous. Even the latest processors require specialized cooling systems. Besides, the low heat generation in optical computing systems minimizes the need for cooling systems, thus eliminating use of any additional sources of noise such as fans.

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