Implementing Multiplication And Division In Optics

Case ID:

This invention is an all-optical approach to implementing mathematical operations on a circuit board in a computer. It uses the non-linear response to light of certain types of thin film materials in a novel approach to multiply & divide numbers in an all-optical mathematical circuit. The approach is an analogue method which implies a constant time for mathematical operation and will not increase as the problem size increases in scale


One of the major challenges in electronic computation is the optimization problem occurring in a large data set where each variable depends on or has influence on other variables. Probabilistic graphical models (PGMs) are tools that are used to compute probability distributions over large and complex interacting variables.  Electronic central processing units (CPUs) are not the best tools to address these problems because of  heat generation and bandwidth limitations of electronic devices as they get smaller and faster.



  • No heat generation
  • Extremely fast
  • Does not slow down as the problem size increases


  • Mathematical circuits handling large data sets
  • Probabilistic graphical models (PGMs)
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Richard Weite
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Masoud Babaeian
Nasser Peyghambarian
Robert Norwood
Mark Neifeld
Pierre Blanche