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World-First Microchip: 'storing Lightning Inside Thunder'

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Researchers at the University of Sydney, Australia have for the first time stored photonic information on a microchip as an acoustic wave, which they say is an important breakthrough in the development of chips that manage data optically instead of electronically. "The information in our chip in acoustic form travels at a velocity five orders of magnitude slower than in the optical domain," says Sydney research fellow Birgit Stiller.

Stiller and Sydney doctoral candidate Moritz Merklein have demonstrated a digital information memory capable of coherently transferring data between light and sound waves on a photonic microchip. "Unlike previous systems this allows us to store and retrieve information at multiple wavelengths simultaneously, vastly increasing the efficiency of the device," Stiller says.

The commercialization of photonic chips requires the data on the chip to be slowed down so it can be processed, routed, stored, and retrieved, Merklein says.

From University of Sydney
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