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Stanford engineers report they have developed a device for computers that can send information over light beams faster than anything yet achieved, while consuming far less energy.

The device, they say, may well overcome the two biggest challenges to the future of high-speed computing: the need for speed and energy efficiency.

Tests show that the device, technically called "nanoscale single-mode LED," can transmit information in computers from chip to chip at least 10 times the speed of any current computer while consuming more than a 1,000 times less energy, the developers say.

The tiny device is a highly advanced version of the LED lamps that are increasingly used in everything from pocket flashlights and home lighting to the "grow-lights" that force-feed everything from house plants to marijuana farms.

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