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  1. Deep neural networks (DNNs) consist of layers of neurons interconnected by synaptic weights. A high bit-precision in weights is generally required to guarantee high accuracy in many applications. Minimizing error accumulation between layers is also essential when building large-scale networks. Recent demonstrations of photonic neural networks are limited in bit-precision due to cross talk and the high sensitivity of optical components (e.g., resonators). Here, we experimentally demonstrate a record-high precision of 9 bits with a dithering control scheme for photonic synapses. We then numerically simulated the impact with increased synaptic precision on a wireless signal classification application. This work could help realize the potential of photonic neural networks for many practical, real-world tasks.

  2. Artificial intelligence and neuromorphic computing driven by neural networks has enabled many applications. Software implementations of neural networks on electronic platforms are limited in speed and energy efficiency. Neuromorphic photonics aims to build processors in which optical hardware mimic neural networks in the brain.
  3. Dong, P. ; Kani, J. ; Xie, C. ; Casellas, R. ; Cole, C. ; Li, M. (Ed.)
    Neuromorphic photonics exploit optical device physics for neuron models, and optical interconnects for distributed, parallel, and analog processing for high-bandwidth, low-latency and low switching energy applications in artificial intelligence and neuromorphic computing.
  4. Dong, P. ; Kani, J. ; Xie, C. ; Casellas, R. ; Cole, C. ; Li, M. (Ed.)
    Neuromorphic photonics creates processors 1000 × faster than electronics while consuming less energy. We will discuss the role of neuromorphic photonics in optical communications, review existing approaches, and outline the required technologies to evolve this field.
  5. Artificial intelligence and neuromorphic computing driven by neural networks has enabled many applications. Software implementations of neural networks on electronic platforms are limited in speed and energy efficiency. Neuromorphic photonics aims to build processors in which optical hardware mimic neural networks in the brain.
  6. 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.

  7. 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.
  8. 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 amore »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.« less
  9. 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.