This is a stylized explanation of how the chip works.
1. Photonic (light) data pulse (yellow) enters from the left.
2. A 'write pulse' (blue) enters from the right
3. The data and write pulses interact in the chip, producing an acoustic wave, storing the data and allowing for processing, retrieval and further transmission.
4. Another photonic read pulse (blue) enters the chip, accessing the acoustic data and transmitting the data as photonic information (yellow) to the right side of the microchip.
5. Light passes through the chip in two to three nanoseconds, depending on the length of the spiral on the chip. Information can be held on the chip for an extra 10 nanoseconds as acoustic data.