Harnessing the long-promised advantages of electro-optical computing, the EnLight256 optical DSP from Lenslet (Herzelia Pituach, Israel) can perform vector-matrix operations at a rate of up to 8 x 1012 calculations per second, a performance roughly three orders of magnitude faster than traditional devices. Presented as the first commercially available optical DSP, the device is able to replace multi-DSP boards currently used in demanding applications such as real-time multichannel video processing.

The optical core of the DSP is made up of the company's multiple-quantum-well GaAs Ablaze spatial light modulator and an array of 256 VCSELs, lenses, and detectors. Fully software programmable on the fly, the device combines a vector matrix multiplier, a vector-processing unit, and a standard DSP for control and scalar processing.

The device's instruction set directly supports vector-vector manipulation and computation, as well as vector matrix multiplication. Arithmetic and logical operations between 8- and 16-bit vectors are included for real and complex vectors alike.