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A programmable photonic memory

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posted on 2024-02-08, 17:01 authored by Farshid Ashtiani
The significant advancements in integrated photonics have enabled high-speed and energy efficient systems for various applications from data communications and high-performance computing, to medical diagnosis, sensing and ranging. However, data storage in these systems has been dominated by electronic memories which necessitates signal conversion between optical and electrical as well as analog and digital domains, and data movement between processor and memory that reduce the speed and energy efficiency. To date, a scalable optical memory with optical control has remained an open problem. Here we report an integrated photonic set-reset latch as a fundamental optical static memory unit based on universal optical logic gates. While the proposed memory is compatible with different photonic platforms, its functionality is demonstrated on a programmable silicon photonic chip as a proof of concept. Optical set, reset, and complementary outputs, scalability to a large number of memory units via the independent latch supply light, and compatibility with different photonic platforms enable more efficient and lower latency optical processing systems.

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