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  1. 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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  2. Independent component analysis (ICA) is a general-purpose technique for analyzing multi-dimensional data to reveal the underlying hidden factors that are maximally independent from each other. We report the first photonic ICA on mixtures of unknown signals by employing an on-chip microring (MRR) weight bank. The MRR weight bank performs so-called weighted addition (i.e., multiply-accumulate) operations on the received mixtures, and outputs a single reduced-dimensional representation of the signal of interest. We propose a novel ICA algorithm to recover independent components solely based on the statistical information of the weighted addition output, while remaining blind to not only the original sources but also the waveform information of the mixtures. We investigate both channel separability and near-far problems, and our two-channel photonic ICA experiment demonstrates our scheme holds comparable performance with the conventional software-based ICA method. Our numerical simulation validates the fidelity of the proposed approach, and studies noise effects to identify the operating regime of our method. The proposed technique could open new domains for future research in blind source separation, microwave photonics, and on-chip information processing.

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