Mechanical switches powered by light could slash the cost of internet transmissions by making download speeds faster than ever. Researchers at the University of...

Mechanical switches powered by light could slash the cost of internet transmissions by making download speeds faster than ever.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have successfully developed a device with a high-speed, microscale mechanical switch of light.

“This device is similar to electromechanical relays but operates completely with light,” said Mo Li, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university.

The device the team developed currently can switch on and off one million times per second. However, the researchers believe that speed can be improved to several billion times per second.

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