Raj Dutt, an Indian-American and an IIT Kharagpur alumnus has developed an energy efficient next-G chip that has impresses the Pentagon, which is now testing its usability in the F-35 fighter jets.
The significance of the technology is that information transfer on the semiconductor chip as well as between components, will now be done using light — photons — instead of just electrons (electronics), California-based Dutt said.
The breakthrough technology by Dutt, chairman and CEO of the privately- held APIC Corp and Photonic Corp, helps computer processors consume up to 90 per cent less energy and run up to 60 per cent faster.
There are many advantages in size, weight and especially power consumed, he explained during his recent trip to Washington, where he met finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.
“Photons do not generate heat, thus they do not need to be cooled. For electronics, cooling is one of the largest cost components. Photonic interconnects do not generate heat and use less space than electronic copper interconnects, so more transistors can be put onto a chip. Most significantly, we have figured out how to do this using the same economical process used in manufacturing semiconductor chips today, enabling them to be stamped out by the millions,” Dutt said.
Well aware of the potential of the computer chip, the US department of defence is fully supporting Dutt and his company. The Pentagon is testing the chip’s application in the ambitious F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
“There are several benefits to the computer and defence industry. First, for military platforms there are tremendous savings in size, weight and power required, while it simultaneously brings much more capability in bandwidth, processing power and speed,” Dutt said, adding that a few hundred pounds of weight reduced from an aircraft is a giant benefit.
The techie said a photonic microprocessor enables true parallel processing, where all the logic cores can communicate with each other simultaneously, at the speed of light, unlike anything today, where all computing is done serially, one step at a time, and software programming must account for time delays of the electrons carrying information getting from one node to another.
Article Source: PTI