‘Virtually unhackable’ chip could make GPU more power efficient and much faster at AI – by combining light and silicon for a fundamental mathematical operation

A groundbreaking new chip developed by Penn Engineers uses light waves instead of electricity for AI computations, marking a possibly significant leap in processing speeds and energy efficiency.

The chip, based on silicon-photonics (SiPh), blends esteemed Penn Professor Nader Engheta’s research on manipulating materials at the nanoscale to perform mathematical computations using light, with the SiPh platform that uses silicon, a cheap and abundant element in computer chips.