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  1. Technology
February 1, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

NEC Corp is claiming to have fabricated the world’s first 1K-bit optical memory chip, Reuters reports from Tokyo. The part, laid down on a Gallium Arsenide substrate, is designed to store data and perform logic functions using light rays in place of electrons, and NEC sees it as a big step forward on the road to the full-scale optical computer. Optical computers have two great potential benefits over electronic computers – they should be orders of magnitude faster, and are easier to build, because two light rays arriving at the same junction can pass on in their direction of travel without interfering with each other, whereas a short circuit is a disaster in an electronic part.

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