Physics Challenges Law of Moore, Lightning Marks Future Calculations Era

Computing technologies are entering a new era as the relevance of Moore’s statement, which predicted the doubling of transistors on microcircuits every year, diminishes due to physical limitations. This has prompted engineers to search for alternative methods to enhance computer capabilities.

Photon calculations: a revolutionary advancement

One solution to the increasing demands of machine learning is photon calculation. Instead of using transistors and wires, this method employs photons to perform computational operations. By utilizing lasers, these packets of energy can travel at the speed of light, supplementing existing computer systems.

MIT scientists have shown the potential of photonics in the field of machine learning through their new system called LightNting. This prototype combines the strengths of both optical and electronic components, delivering exceptional speed and becoming the first system capable of meeting real-time machine learning requirements.

Overcoming photonics limitations

The main challenge with photon devices is their lack of memory and instructions for data management, making them passive. However, “LightNting” overcomes this limitation. Mit’s Zhizhen Zhong emphasized that the previous obstacle of data flow between optical and electronic components has been addressed.

The Lightning system connects photon and electronic circuits, providing a unified platform for data processing. This enables speedy and uninterrupted computing processes.

An eco-friendly solution

Modern machine learning services, such as ChatGPT, require substantial computing resources. “LightNting” offers a faster and more energy-efficient alternative. The Ghobadi Group conducted a comparison of their device with standard graphic processors and other accelerators, revealing that Lightning is significantly more efficient in terms of energy consumption.

This approach not only accelerates the response time for machine learning requests but also offers a means to reduce the environmental impact of these centers.

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