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Electro-optical computing comes closer

NLM team
Members of Nonlinear Materials’ leadership team line up in the lab. From left: Delwin Elder, director of materials development; Bruce Robinson, senior adviser; Paul Nye, chairman and president; Lewis Johnson, chief scientific officer; and Gerard Zytnicki, CEO. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

It’s taken 20 years, but executives at Seattle-based Nonlinear Materials Corp. are finally putting the pieces in place for what they say could be a revolution in electro-optical processing.

“Everything in tech is about timing,” said Nonlinear Materials CEO Gerard Zytnicki, a Microsoft veteran who’s served as a consultant for a wide range of tech ventures. “And we think that from all perspectives, the timing is right for this technology to basically take off.”

NLM’s technology aims to turbocharge chip processing speeds by taking advantage of optical computing, which manipulates photons of light rather than electrons. That, in turn, could open up new frontiers for a field in which progress seems to be slowing down.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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