HPE builds experimental 1,052-component optical processor — the biggest yet

Hewlett Packard Labs team hopes to tackle tricky “traveling salesman”-type problems

Light and silicon, together at last? A team at Hewlett Packard Labs, part of HPE, has loaded a chip with 1,052 optical components — the most ever in which the photonic components all work together.

Funded by a DARPA grant, the specialized chip could help pave the way to make optical processors more practical, particularly for certain types of specialized computations that traditional computing methods struggle with, such as "traveling salesman" type problems that must quickly parse a number of potential, interconnected options.

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