Most parts of the chip resemble those found on any other commercial chip. The parts that process or transform information—in other words, the parts that do the actual computing—still deploy electrons moving through semiconductor gates. But the interconnects, the lines that shuttle information between different areas within a chip, are drastically different. Instead of shuttling electrons, which can slow down significantly when the interconnects heat up, they shuttle light. That's because light is easy to contain and loses less information as it travels. The researchers hope that this quick communication will make possible the first exascale computers—that is, computers that can perform a billion billion computations per second, 1,000 times as fast as today's speediest systems.