Abstract

The recent rise in interest in optical computation has been accompanied by a number of sophisticated proposals for optical processing elements and a number of relatively abstract conceptual statements as to what the optical computer architecture of the future might look like. By setting up a particular (elementary) physical problem and keeping within the practical restrictions set by existing optically bistable and nonlinear elements a design for an all-optical computational device is presented. Architectural considerations lead to such problems as optical storage or beam delay, computational loop operation, optical parallel processing, and all-optical clocking. Example solutions to each of these problems are given and a proposed architecture for a demonstration optical computational device is thereby built up.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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