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  1. Abstract

    Radio-frequency interference is a growing concern as wireless technology advances, with potentially life-threatening consequences like interference between radar altimeters and 5 G cellular networks. Mobile transceivers mix signals with varying ratios over time, posing challenges for conventional digital signal processing (DSP) due to its high latency. These challenges will worsen as future wireless technologies adopt higher carrier frequencies and data rates. However, conventional DSPs, already on the brink of their clock frequency limit, are expected to offer only marginal speed advancements. This paper introduces a photonic processor to address dynamic interference through blind source separation (BSS). Our system-on-chip processor employs a fully integrated photonic signal pathway in the analogue domain, enabling rapid demixing of received mixtures and recovering the signal-of-interest in under 15 picoseconds. This reduction in latency surpasses electronic counterparts by more than three orders of magnitude. To complement the photonic processor, electronic peripherals based on field-programmable gate array (FPGA) assess the effectiveness of demixing and continuously update demixing weights at a rate of up to 305 Hz. This compact setup features precise dithering weight control, impedance-controlled circuit board and optical fibre packaging, suitable for handheld and mobile scenarios. We experimentally demonstrate the processor’s ability to suppress transmission errors and maintain signal-to-noise ratios in two scenarios, radar altimeters and mobile communications. This work pioneers the real-time adaptability of integrated silicon photonics, enabling online learning and weight adjustments, and showcasing practical operational applications for photonic processing.

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  2. There are increasing requirements for data center interconnection (DCI) services, which use fiber to connect any DC distributed in a metro area and quickly establish high-capacity optical paths between cloud services and mobile edge computing and the users. In such networks, coherent transceivers with various optical frequency ranges, modulators, and modulation formats installed at each connection point must be used to meet service requirements such as fast-varying traffic requests between user computing resources. This requires technology and architectures that enable users and DCI operators to cooperate to achieve fast provisioning of WDM links and flexible route switching in a short time, independent of the transceiver’s implementation and characteristics. We propose an approach to estimate the end-to-end (EtE) generalized signal-to-noise ratio (GSNR) accurately in a short time, not by measuring the GSNR at the operational route and wavelength for the EtE optical path but by simply applying a quality of transmission probe channel link by link, at a wavelength/modulation-format convenient for measurement. Assuming connections between transceivers of various frequency ranges, modulators, and modulation formats, we propose a device software architecture in which the DCI operator optimizes the transmission mode between user transceivers with high accuracy using only common parameters such as the bit error rate. In this paper, we first implement software libraries for fast WDM provisioning and experimentally build different routes to verify the accuracy of this approach. For the operational EtE GSNR measurements, the accuracy estimated from the sum of the measurements for each link was 0.6 dB, and the wavelength-dependent error was about 0.2 dB. Then, using field fibers deployed in the NSF COSMOS testbed, a Linux-based transmission device software architecture, and transceivers with different optical frequency ranges, modulators, and modulation formats, the fast WDM provisioning of an optical path was completed within 6 min.

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  3. We demonstrated under six minutes automatic provisioning of optical paths over field- deployed alien access links and WDM carrier links using commercial-grade ROADMs, whitebox mux- ponders, and multi-vendor transceivers. With channel probing, transfer learning, and Gaussian noise model, we achieved an estimation error (Q-factor) below 0.7 dB. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  4. Abstract

    The expansion of telecommunications incurs increasingly severe crosstalk and interference, and a physical layer cognitive method, called blind source separation (BSS), can effectively address these issues. BSS requires minimal prior knowledge to recover signals from their mixtures, agnostic to the carrier frequency, signal format, and channel conditions. However, previous electronic implementations did not fulfil this versatility due to the inherently narrow bandwidth of radio-frequency (RF) components, the high energy consumption of digital signal processors (DSP), and their shared weaknesses of low scalability. Here, we report a photonic BSS approach that inherits the advantages of optical devices and fully fulfils its “blindness” aspect. Using a microring weight bank integrated on a photonic chip, we demonstrate energy-efficient, wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) scalable BSS across 19.2 GHz processing bandwidth. Our system also has a high (9-bit) resolution for signal demixing thanks to a recently developed dithering control method, resulting in higher signal-to-interference ratios (SIR) even for ill-conditioned mixtures.

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  5. Kitayama, Ken-ichi ; Jalali, Bahram (Ed.)
  6. Abstract Neuromorphic photonic processors based on resonator weight banks are an emerging candidate technology for enabling modern artificial intelligence (AI) in high speed analog systems. These purpose-built analog devices implement vector multiplications with the physics of resonator devices, offering efficiency, latency, and throughput advantages over equivalent electronic circuits. Along with these advantages, however, often come the difficult challenges of compensation for fabrication variations and environmental disturbances. In this paper, we review sources of variation and disturbances from our experiments, as well as mathematically define quantities that model them. Then, we introduce how the physics of resonators can be exploited to weight and sum multiwavelength signals. Finally, we outline automated design and control methodologies necessary to create practical, manufacturable, and high accuracy/precision resonator weight banks that can withstand operating conditions in the field. This represents a road map for unlocking the potential of resonator weight banks in practical deployment scenarios. 
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  7. Microwave communications have witnessed an incipient proliferation of multi-antenna and opportunistic technologies in the wake of an ever-growing demand for spectrum resources, while facing increasingly difficult network management over widespread channel interference and heterogeneous wireless broadcasting. Radio frequency (RF) blind source separation (BSS) is a powerful technique for demixing mixtures of unknown signals with minimal assumptions, but relies on frequency dependent RF electronics and prior knowledge of the target frequency band. We propose photonic BSS with unparalleled frequency agility supported by the tremendous bandwidths of photonic channels and devices. Specifically, our approach adopts an RF photonic front-end to process RF signals at various frequency bands within the same array of integrated microring resonators, and implements a novel two-step photonic BSS pipeline to reconstruct source identities from the reduced dimensional statistics of front-end output. We verify the feasibility and robustness of our approach by performing the first proof-of-concept photonic BSS experiments on mixed-over-the-air RF signals across multiple frequency bands. The proposed technique lays the groundwork for further research in interference cancellation, radio communications, and photonic information processing.

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  8. null (Ed.)
    Artificial intelligence enabled by neural networks has enabled applications in many fields (e.g. medicine, finance, autonomous vehicles). Software implementations of neural networks on conventional computers are limited in speed and energy efficiency. Neuromorphic engineering aims to build processors in which hardware mimic neurons and synapses in brain for distributed and parallel processing. Neuromorphic engineering enabled by silicon photonics can offer subnanosecond latencies, and can extend the domain of artificial intelligence applications to high-performance computing and ultrafast learning. We discuss current progress and challenges on these demonstrations to scale to practical systems for training and inference. 
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  9. Abstract Microelectronic computers have encountered challenges in meeting all of today’s demands for information processing. Meeting these demands will require the development of unconventional computers employing alternative processing models and new device physics. Neural network models have come to dominate modern machine learning algorithms, and specialized electronic hardware has been developed to implement them more efficiently. A silicon photonic integration industry promises to bring manufacturing ecosystems normally reserved for microelectronics to photonics. Photonic devices have already found simple analog signal processing niches where electronics cannot provide sufficient bandwidth and reconfigurability. In order to solve more complex information processing problems, they will have to adopt a processing model that generalizes and scales. Neuromorphic photonics aims to map physical models of optoelectronic systems to abstract models of neural networks. It represents a new opportunity for machine information processing on sub-nanosecond timescales, with application to mathematical programming, intelligent radio frequency signal processing, and real-time control. The strategy of neuromorphic engineering is to externalize the risk of developing computational theory alongside hardware. The strategy of remaining compatible with silicon photonics externalizes the risk of platform development. In this perspective article, we provide a rationale for a neuromorphic photonics processor, envisioning its architecture and a compiler. We also discuss how it can be interfaced with a general purpose computer, i.e. a CPU, as a coprocessor to target specific applications. This paper is intended for a wide audience and provides a roadmap for expanding research in the direction of transforming neuromorphic photonics into a viable and useful candidate for accelerating neuromorphic computing. 
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