Photonics: The New Era of Technology

Courtesy: Md. Shahriar Islam, Student, Dept. of EEE, green university of Bangladesh

We live in an era of electronics where every technology is a gift from the tremendous research work of the electronics industry and we all know “Change is life, change is progress. Change is the route of all success”. To make a difference, science always takes steps where it is needed. In recent times, photonics is another possible effective and efficient step toward the future.

What is Photonics?

It is a combination of two words which are Photon and Electronics. This is the reason why this technology is called photonics. A photon is a particle of light and photonics is considered to be the science and application of light. Electronic applications use the electron to flow current in a similar way that photonic applications use the photon. Most importantly, light can give us a faster version of the devices that we are using now. In the field of the biomedical industry, there has been a thirst for faster and more efficient instruments and photonics can lead us to the demand.

Why should we move to Photonics?

The research shows the benefits of photonics over electronics in many cases. First of all, light moves faster than electricity. So, it is an easier and time-saving process for transmitting any signal or data through photonics. The world has a hunger for faster technology and at the same time that should be smaller in size and cheap in price with less energy consumption. Moreover, we can fulfill all the criteria by using photons instead of electrons. 

The light moving through space and the lenses are optics. On the contrary, in photonics, when light hits or passes through any solid particle, it turned into a digital signal. That is why imaging becomes more accurate, digitized, and informative.


The world has witnessed a lot of applications of photonics. Medical diagnostics, laser defense, sensors, data communication, photovoltaic, and integrated photonics are some major applications of photonics. Photonics has a huge contribution to image processing as well. Giant companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon are very much dependent on imaging. The collaboration of photonics with optics will give a new way of imaging and probably, it will be the best imaging technology the world has ever seen.

Photonics-based chips

Photonic integrated circuits (PICs), another name for photonic-based chips, are a developing technology that might completely alter the computer sector. PICs employ light or photons to transmit data among elements as opposed to electrical signals. Compared to conventional electrical circuits, this provides quicker data transfer, reduced power consumption, and higher bandwidth. 

Electrical signals are used by conventional computer chips to interface between their parts. This approach works well over short distances, but as the separation between the modules grows, the signal strength deteriorates and data transmission rate becomes slower. Furthermore, heat is produced by electronic systems, which might hinder chip effectiveness. These are the origins of photonics-based chips. Because PICs use light to transfer data between components, they can transfer data more quickly, with less power, and with a wider bandwidth. Although PIC innovation has indeed been known for a while, recent improvements in manufacturing methods have increased their viability for industrial applications.

Advantages of Photonics over Electronics

Higher bandwidth: Compared to electronic-based technologies, photonic-based methods offer far greater bandwidth. This is because photons can carry more information per second than electrons since they have a greater frequency than electrons.

Faster Data Transmission: Electrons cannot move as quickly as light does. As a result, structures usually on photonics may convey data far more quickly than those based on electronics. Compared to present technologies, a photonics-based device, for instance, may transport data at a terabit per second rate.

Minimal energy usage: Systems based on photonics use less electricity than those based on electronics. This is thus because photons convey data with little power than electrons do. Moreover, frameworks on photonics produce less heat, which lessens the need for cooling and lowers power use even more.

Reduced signal deterioration: Compared to electronic-based systems, photonic-based systems are less prone to signal degradation. This is because photons are unaffected by electromagnetic resistance or interference, which can degrade signals in electronic-based devices.

Compact design: Systems based on photonics may be made much smaller than those based on electronics. This is because photonic-based operating systems are far more compact than their electronic-based counterparts. A microchip can also house all of the components needed in photonic-based solutions, substantially reducing their size.

At a glance, technology based on photonics has the potential to completely transform the computer sector. More bandwidth, reduced power consumption, and quicker data transfer rates are all made possible by using light instead of electrons to convey data. The usage of photonics-based devices in data centers, telecommunications, and medical imaging is therefore perfect. Even though the technology has been known for a while, new improvements in manufacturing methods have increased its viability for commercial applications. However, we may anticipate a wider usage of photonics-based technologies across a range of sectors as technology develops. With the potential of photonics-based technologies, the future of computing appears promising. 

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