Illustration for article titled Worlds Smallest Laser Paves Way for 100 Terahertz CPUs

Technically, it's not a laser, but something called spaser. Instead of photons, it uses plasmons, a particle only 44 nanometers across. It could push CPUs' speeds to hundreds of terahertz, according to Mark Stockman, professor of physics at Georgia State:

The spaser works about a thousand times faster than the fastest transistor, while having the same nanoscale size. This opens up the possibility to build ultrafast amplifiers, logic elements, and microprocessors working about a thousand times faster than conventional silicon-based microprocessors.


This new method treats light in a different way than traditional optical CPUs, which are "difficult to miniaturize because you can't contain photons in areas smaller than half their wavelenght." In other words: Optical CPUs won't fit in current electronics. Plasmonic devices, on the other side, can concentrate these nanoparticles in spaces similar to current processors. [Technology Review]

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