Silicon light-emitter

Silicon light-emitter

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This image is part of the feature Future Of Computing

Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Silicon light-emitter. Forceps holding a silicon-based light-emitting diode (LED). Designed by Professor Kevin Homewood and his team at the University of Surrey, England, this diode uses silicon atoms to produce light. This technology could be used for building computer chips that use light instead of wires to transmit information. Because light beams are much smaller than even the smallest wires, computers of the future could be much smaller. The use of light could also greatly increase computer speeds, particularly in the field of telecommunications.

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