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Definition: optical computer

A computer in which all internal circuits use light instead of electricity. Long predicted, an all-optical computer is not expected for some time as there are hurdles to overcome. However, there are definite advantages of optical circuits over electrical ones. Light beams are neither affected by external radiation, nor by themselves. In fact, light beams can cross each other, allowing for simpler travel paths between inputs and outputs. See all-optical network and photonic chip.