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News & Stories High Tech Campus Eindhoven
Interview, Video

Photonic chips, the new revolution?

Jul 9, 2018 3:20:07 PM. By: Ingelou Stol

Photonics, some call it the new revolution. Every computer, and now almost every electronic device, has chips, which work on electricity. Instead of using electric signals, photonic chips use light to process data. The emergence of electronic chips dramatically changed our lives. Is it possible that photonic chips will have the same impact?

In the newest episode of High Tech Stories you'll learn more about photonic chips:

Much faster, less energy
The benefits of photonic chips are huge. They can process data much faster and they require less energy. The chips can be used in sensors, which use glasfiber. For example, a glasfiber can measure stretch, tention or a bow in the wings of airplanes. 

Richard Visser, CEO of SMART Photonics: 'Fifty years ago nobody would ever think you would have a computer like this. Electronic chips made that possible. Integrated photonics - photonic chips that we make - are just at the beginning of the lifecycle. The functionalities that we see today, are simply replacing current functionalities that we know of.'

'Evolution is starting. And that’s the reason why I dare to say: in 20 years from now, or 10 years maybe, we will find functionalities that you can not think of today.'

Just like Lego
Smart Photonics is industrializing the chips on which the Eindhoven University of Technology has been doing research for many years. 'You can compare the chips to Lego, where you have all kind of different building blocks. In electronics it’s the same. You have a transistor, capacitor, resistor. And in the chips they can make all kind of different functionalities with that. And we do exactly the same in photonics.'

Over the past years the Eindhoven University of Technology developed all kinds of building blocks. 'And with those building blocks we can make all kind of different photonic functionalities.' Functionalities like data communication, medical applications and gas sensing. 

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Ingelou Stol
Ingelou Stol

Communications Manager

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