Photonic computing hardware developer LightOn integrated a photonic coprocessor into the Jean Zay supercomputer, one of the 500 most powerful computers in the world. The integration of the optical processing unit into a high-performance computer is reportedly the first demonstration of its kind. The insertion of the coprocessor is a light-based alternative to electrical current, which is commonly used to transmit and processor information in computers. The work stems from a pilot program with GENCI (Grand équipement national de calcul intensif) and IDRIS (Institute for Development and Resources in Intensive Scientific Computing). The LightOn photonic coprocessor will be available to selected users of the Jean Zay research community over the next few months, the company said.
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