[windows2000] Israeli Processor Computes at Speed of Light

  • From: "Jim Kenzig http://thethin.net" <jimkenz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, windows2000@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 11:18:44 -0500


Israeli Processor Computes at Speed of Light
Wed Oct 29, 5:03 AM ET


By Tova Cohen

HERZLIYA, Israel (Reuters) - An Israeli start-up has developed a processor
that uses optics instead of silicon, enabling it to compute at the speed of
light, the company said
Lenslet said its processor will enable new capabilities in homeland security
and military, multimedia and communications applications.
"Optical processing is a strategic competitive advantage for nations and
companies," said Avner Halperin, vice president for business development at
"Processing at the speed of light, you can have safer airports, autonomous
military systems, high-definition multimedia broadcast systems and advanced
next-generation communications systems."
An optical processor is a digital signal processor (DSP) with an optical
accelerator attached to it that enables it to perform functions at very high
"It is an acceleration of 20 years in the development of digital hardware,"
Lenslet founder and Chief Executive Officer Aviram Sariel told Reuters.

The processor performs 8 trillion operations per second, equivalent to a
super-computer and 1,000 times faster than standard processors, with 256
lasers performing computations at light speed.
It is geared toward such applications as high resolution radar, electronic
warfare, luggage screening at airports, video compression, weather
forecasting and cellular base stations.
Lenslet said its Enlight processor, unveiled at the MILCOM exhibition in
Boston this month, is the first commercially available optical DSP.

"Optics is the future of every information device," said Sariel.
Jim Tully, vice president and chief of research for semiconductors and
emerging technologies at Gartner Inc, said most companies working with
optics focus on switching optical signals for telecommunications rather than
processing information optically.

"I'm not aware of any company that has taken it to the extent of processing
optically," he said.
Lenslet has raised $27.5 million so far from such investors as Goldman
Sachs, Walden VC, Germany's Star Ventures and Chicago-based JK&B Capital.
h/news?p=%22PALM%20PILOT%22&c=&n=20&yn=c&c=news&cs=nw> - web sites
?cs=nw&p=palm%20pilot>) SIZE

The company's prototype is fairly large and bulky but when Lenslet begins to
supply the processor in a few months it will be shrunk to 15 x 15 cm with a
height of 1.7 cm, roughly the size of a Palm Pilot.

"In five years we plan to shrink it to a single chip," project manager Asaf
Schlezinger said.
Tully said one issue is whether this technology can be produced in volume
the way silicon chips are made.
"Because semiconductor manufacturing technology is well developed, you can
produce millions at quite low cost," said Tully, who is not familiar with
enslet said its processor will be competitive in price with a multi DSP
Sariel is negotiating joint projects with companies and/or government
agencies in the United States, Europe and Japan to produce the processor for
specific applications. It already has projects signed with Israel's Defense
"We don't rule out licensing our technology to others," Sariel said. "We are
looking at a virtual production line where production is done by others and
we provide testing equipment."

Tully said semiconductor companies are working on technology that would use
optical channels inside a chip to allow very high speed communication from
one part of a chip to another.

"It's conceivable this technology could become mainstream inside chips in 10
years time," Tully said.

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