Using quantum methods to read classical memories

March 15, 2011 | Source:

Quantum physicist Stefano Pirandola from the University of York has demonstrated that quantum light can read digital data using very few photons, an ability that could lead to faster digital readers and optical memories with larger storage capacities.

Pirandola calculates that the enhancement provided by quantum light can be quite large — even up to one bit per storage cell, which corresponds to the extreme situation where only quantum light can retrieve information, and classical light cannot retrieve any information at all.

Since quantum light can read digital information with significantly fewer photons than classical light, it can greatly reduce the reading time of the memory, resulting in higher data transfer rates.

Another advantage for reading with quantum light is for photodegradable organic memories, which may contain confidential information, says Pirandola.