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a DIY optical port Answered

I have been intrested in optical computer for a while but found them rather expensive to build so I tried to look for cheaper ways to build some key features like the gates.

The basic idea is to use solar cells that power a led. For and OR-Port you use solarcells where it is enough that one of the side gets light to make the led burn.

To make and AND-port, you can put a resitor in between so that it really needs the power form both channel sot make a led burn.

For a NOT-port you put an invertor in, so that when it burns it gives no signal, and wheren it does not receive light it burns this because of a battery it caries. A NOT-port is almost like a led-throwie.

I do hav emore but wanted to know if this would be a good place or not, or if someones intrested in hearing on how to build a full optical computer, still basic, but almost completly optical, or if it would be better to post this on the microprocessor group at the opencourseware of the MIT ?


I believe you're trying to make gates with optics. The problem with your idea is that each gate is not going to produce as much light as it takes to activate it. For example; You wouldn't be able to drive one gate with another.

You could, on the other hand, build individual gates using IR LEDs and IR Receivers powered by their own batteries. Then build an apparently working circuit, albeit very slow, by lining them up properly. To demonstrate activity and output, use standard LEDs in parallel with the IR LEDs.

A 'DIY optical port', a 'DIY optical logic gate' or a 'DIY optical computer' ?????? If you wanna make a computer with a such technology, you'll need a lot of place for some really poor performances. That reminds me first Super-Computers made out of vacuum-tubes or relays ... :-D

The first electronic computers were built with vacuum tubes and relays. They wouldn't have qualified as Super Computers though. The first Super Computer (The Cray I, I believe.), was built with MOS technology (ICs). Take a look at the attached picture of the Cray I (with my hero). You'll note that the panels were built into a circle with a bench at the base. This was to keep the wires as short as possible and the bench is the cooling system to keep the whole thing from literally melting...