In past few years, there have been numerous progresses in the development of photonic chips and devices which use light beams in order to carry out their computational tasks instead of electrons.Now a research has been done by the team of researchers in this regard that has the ability to enable in the creation of photonic chips on the standard silicon material which forms the basis for most of today’s electronics.
In most of the present communication system, data travels through light beams which have been transmitted through optical fibers. It is converted into electronic form as well as processed with the help of electronic circuits and then converted back to light by using a laser the moment, optical signal covers its destination.
This new device has the ability to eliminate all those extra electronic conversion steps as well as it allows the light signal so that it could be processed directly. According to the researchers, this new component is a diode for light as it is analogous to an electronic diode which is a device that can allow an electric current so that it could flow in one direction but blocks it from going the other way.
Instead electricity, it creates a one way street for light in this case. This process is important as there will be stray reflections which could destabilize the lasers used for producing the optical signals as well as there will be reduction in the efficiency of the transmission without using such device.
Currently, an isolator is being used for performing this function which is a discrete device but with the help of this new system, there will be allowance for this function in order to be a part of the same chip which carries out other signal processing tasks.
A material had to be found by the researchers in order to develop this device which should be both transparent and magnetic as well as these two characteristics rarely occur together. They have completed this task by using a form of a material called garnet.
This material is generally tough in order to grow on the silicon wafers used for microchips. There is a demand for garnet as it inherently transmits the light differently in one direction after that in another as well. In order to cover one half of a loop which is connected to a light transmitting channel on the chip, the researchers were able to deposit a thin film of garnet.