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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. Abstract

    mmWave devices can broadcast multiple spatially-separated data streams simultaneously in order to increase data transfer rates. Data transfer can, however, be compromised by interference. Photonic blind interference cancellation systems offer a power-efficient means of mitigating interference, but previous demonstrations of such systems have been limited by high latencies and the need for regular calibration. Here, we demonstrate real-time photonic blind interference cancellation using an FPGA-photonic system executing a zero-calibration control algorithm. Our system offers a greater than 200-fold reduction in latency compared to previous work, enabling sub-second cancellation weight identification. We further investigate key trade-offs between system latency, power consumption, and success rate, and we validate sub-Nyquist sampling for blind interference cancellation. We estimate that photonic interference cancellation can reduce the power required for digitization and signal recovery by greater than 74 times compared to the digital electronic alternative.

     
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  3. 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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  4. We propose and experimentally demonstrate an optical pulse sampling method for photonic blind source separation. The photonic system processes and separates wideband signals based on the statistical information of the mixed signals, and thus the sampling frequency can be orders of magnitude lower than the bandwidth of the signals. The ultra-fast optical pulses collect samples of the signals at very low sampling rates, and each sample is short enough to maintain the statistical properties of the signals. The low sampling frequency reduces the workloads of the analog to digital conversion and digital signal processing systems. In the meantime, the short pulse sampling maintains the accuracy of the sampled signals, so the statistical properties of the under-sampled signals are the same as the statistical properties of the original signals. The linear power range measurement shows that the sampling system with ultra-narrow optical pulse achieves a 30dB power dynamic range. 
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  5. 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.

     
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  6. Blind source separation (BSS) becomes popularly useful with the need for increased bandwidth utilization. However, the traditional radio-frequency (RF) electronics hardly offer the BSS the demanded frequency agility because of the inherent bandwidth limitation. The emerging integrated photonics, fortunately, can be an efficacious alternative. Here, we demonstrate a photonic BSS approach based on the microring (MRR) weightbank that achieves blind source separation of up to 13.8 GHz bandwidth. In addition, by implementing an improved MRR control method with an accuracy of up to 8.5 bits, the reduced errors give confidence in solving BSS problems with a large ill-condition number. 
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  7. Kitayama, Ken-ichi ; Jalali, Bahram (Ed.)
  8. 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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