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AT&T DIGITAL OPTICAL PROCESSOR

American Telephone & Telegraph Co. said today that it has built the first digital optical processor, an experimental device that uses light to process information rather than the electricity used in present-day computers.

AT&T said its invention may equip future processors to handle more than 1,000 times as much information as the electronic devices used in today's supercomputers, because optics technology can handle many light beams at once.

"The digital optical processor is a technological milestone," said William Ninke, director of the Information Systems Research Laboratory at AT&T Bell Laboratories.

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