Optical EngineeringOptical analog to digital converter using optical logic and table look-up
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The need for high performance analog to digital (AID) converters, the advantages of optics, and current approaches to AID conversion are reviewed. A novel method, for which a U.S. patent was recently awarded, is proposed that uses comparators, optical logic, and a table look-up to provide optical digital output from an optical analog input. The advantage of the new method is the ability to produce any digital code, optical input/ output, and longer word lengths at high speed. Implementations of the optical logic are proposed that use 1-D spatial light modulator devices under development, including self-electro-optic effect devices (SEEDs), double heterostructure optoelectronic switch (DOES) devices, and spatial light rebroadcasters (SLRs). Optical AID converters could make digital multiplication by analog convolution competitive with electronic systems.