Winner - Communications

Aharon Agranat, PhD; Founder & Director, Trellis Photonics; Columbia, Maryland


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Innovation - Electroholography Technology, used in Trellis Photonics All-Optical Intelligent Lambda Switch

Making the Internet truly as fast as light. This winning entry is an extremely sophisticated switch that redirects light in fiber optic circuits with Electroholography™. It eliminates the need for information traveling along the Internet to be converted from photons (light pulses) to electrons and back - often hundreds of times for a single message traveling coast to coast. With Internet traffic doubling every 100 days, we are rapidly approaching a time when the whole system could choke and collapse. Although we're building fiber optic routes to accommodate the needed bandwidth, it will be years - if not decades - before computers themselves are optical and all information transmissions are light-based from origin to reception. In the meantime, the switching that goes back and forth between wire and light cables slows everyone's information down - way down. This super-fast connector promises to open closed gates and multiply the lanes on the worldwide information superhighway.


Aharon Agranat is Co-founder & Director of Trellis Photonics, and holds the N. Haller Chair of Applied Science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dr. Agranat began his career in 1986 as a Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. There he developed microelectronic artificial neural networks based on charge transfer devices and the growth and investigation of paraelectric photorefractive crystals. In 1991, Dr. Agranat founded a research group at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The research focused on optoelectronic computing devices. In 1999, Dr. Agranat co-founded Trellis Photonics to develop a new concept in optical computing and photonic switching: Electroholography - a patented method to interconnect electronic processors by holographic devices.

Dr. Agranat's work has been published in many scientific journals, and he is Editor of the international journal Fiber and Integrated Optics. He received his bachelor's, master's, and PhD in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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