Photonics and radio signals join forces for high-speed mobile data communication, like in 5G communications. At the same time, the applications of ‘integrated microwave photonics’ go way beyond telecom. This progress often comes from directions you would not expect in the first place. In a review paper in Nature Photonics), David Marpaung gives together with experts Jianping Yao of the University of Ottawa and Jose Campany of the University of Valencia a vision on the next phase of photonic chips, for example in brain-inspired, ‘neuromorphic’ optical computing. (see also UT Press release).