Nano device promises ultra-fast graphics on gaming consoles

Thursday 20 July 2017

An international team of scientists led by The Australian National University (ANU) has designed a new nano device that promises ultra-fast rendering of high-definition graphics on gaming consoles.

Senior ANU researcher Professor Dragomir Neshev said the invention, a tiny antenna which is 100 times thinner than a human hair, could also aid high-performance computers used to create animations and special effects.

“One of the big problems that gamers encounter is sluggish game play, which our nano device could greatly improve by speeding up the exchange of data between the multiple processors in the console,” said Professor Neshev from the Nonlinear Physics Centre within the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.

“The speed of this data transfer is currently limited by the speed that electrons can flow along the copper wires connecting the processors in gaming consoles.

“Our invention can be used to connect these processors with optical wires that will transmit data between processers thousands of times faster than metal wires. This will enable smooth rendering and large-scale parallel computation needed for a good gaming experience.”

ANU collaborated with Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology and Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany.

Professor Neshev said the researchers used the nano-scale antenna to transmit and route telecom signals from the air into different directions in an optical wire, for the first time.  

“We are the first to make a tiny optical nano-antenna device with the ability to sort and route ultra-fast bit-rate telecommunication signals,” he said.

“We were able to shrink the optical components to bridge the size mismatch with today’s ever-smaller electronic parts.”  

The invention took two years to make and was supported by the ARC through CUDOS, a Centre of Excellence, and the Australian National Fabrication Facility.

The research is published in Science Advances.

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