In April 2015 we announced that we had successfully built a scaleable, lens-less optical processing prototype that can perform mathematical functions. Codenamed Project GALELEO, the device demonstrates that second order derivatives and correlation pattern matching can be performed optically in a scaleable design.
This groundbreaking achievement proves for the first time that optical processing technology can accurately perform calculations that are commonly used in large scale model simulations in a lens-less, reconfigurable and rugged manner. Examples include weather forecasting andvehicle aerodynamics. The same device can also perform Big Data analysis as used ingenomics andfinancial analysis. The design also demonstrates how the technology can be scaled using ourmodular approach.
In an optical domain these functions can be calculated in parallel and at the speed of light thereby not only significantly reducing processing time but also negating the need to periodically store data and analyse it offline.
Numerical data is entered into the prototype as an image on a special micro-display called a Spatial Light Modulator (SLM). A low power laser transports the data through the optical system througha series of further SLMs which apply various mathematical functions tothe data and the resultis captured on a camera.
The prototype achieves a processing speed equivalent to 320 Gflops and it is incredibly energy efficient as it useslow-powered, cost effective components.
This advances Optalysys’s technology toTechnology Readiness Level 4 on NASA’s scale for measuring the maturity of a technology product – a functioning prototype.
Now the principles of the approach have been proven, Optalysys is focusing on ramping-up the processing capabilities of the technology and is working with select partners to implement the technology in real-world applications.