There is an ever-increasing demand for ultrafast signal processing. As opto-electronic conversion and digital signal processing are now a backbone of signal processing, its all-optical equivalent promises dramatic increases in speed. The future of packet-switching and routing of information requires fast and flexible photonic schemes for logic and computation. Over the years there has been a continuing effort in improving performance of high speed logic gates exploiting various nonlinear effects in different media, such as optical fibers, semiconductor optical amplifiers, periodic-poles Lithium Niobate and Chalcogenide glass waveguides, and so on. Yet, there is a constant search for a promising technology that will enable complex logic operations and yet will be compact and flexible and able to operate in cascade. This article offers a different perspective and makes use of four-wave mixing Bragg scattering replicating a NAND/AND function at 10 Gbit/s. This is a third-order nonlinear process, in which a signal photon and a single pump photon are annihilated to produce a different pump and idler photon. By appropriate encoding of the two strong pumps, the required NAND/AND operation was achieved experimentally. The estimated bandwidth was measured to be around 1 nm, corresponding to 120 GHz. The authors expect to further increase this bandwidth by improving the dispersive design and using other nonlinear media, such as integrated waveguides.
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