Feeds

Utah boffins in terahertz spybeam infra-computing quest

T-rays. Is there anything they can't do?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Boffins working at the University of Utah say they have one-upped London-based researchers in the race to perfect "T-ray" powered computers. Terahertz radiation, or T-rays, could drive powerful circuitry in a similar fashion to photonic optical machines seen by some as a likely successor to current (cough) electronic kit.

"We have taken a first step to making circuits that can harness or guide terahertz radiation," said Ajay Nahata, Utah associate prof. "Eventually - in a minimum of 10 years - this will allow the development of superfast circuits, computers and communications."

Rival boffins at Imperial College in London demonstrated some basic T-ray handling techniques in February, using "metamaterials", the stuff from which Imperial boffins have said it might be possible to construct the long-sought invisible shed.

Nahata says his methods are far more advanced. The Utah uni press release says: "The London researchers did not actually manipulate the direction the terahertz radiation moved, such as by bending or splitting it."

Nahata adds: "We have demonstrated the ability to do this, which is a necessary requirement for making terahertz guided-wave circuits."

Optical computers using visible light are still pretty much at the experimental stage, but many topflight brains think they might overcome the limits of ordinary electronics.

Photonics could offer superfast operations, which would be nice as miniaturisation of electronics is thought to be reaching its practical limit - and thus, electronic computing speeds in regular chips are becoming harder to enhance.

T-ray based gear might offer similar benefits, possibly even more significant in some applications. Terahertz radiation lies in one of the few remaining unused portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, between the far infrared and microwave-radio.

Terahertz tech can also be used in security scanners, as human bodies naturally emit T-rays while explosives, ceramics, etc don't. Various firms are seeking to use sensors which can spot nonmetallic contraband hidden beneath people's clothes in true spy-fi style, without needing to light them up using cancer-prone X-rays or employ manual grope techniques.

Read all about it from Utah Uni here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER
'Acceleration engines' key to performance, security, Larry says
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Lenovo to finish $2.1bn IBM x86 server gobble in October
A lighter snack than expected – but what's a few $100m between friends, eh?
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.