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NeurOLight: A Physics-Agnostic Neural Operator Enabling Parametric Photonic Device Simulation

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posted on 2023-01-10, 02:50 authored by Jiaqi Gu, Zhengqi Gao, Chenghao Feng, Hanqing Zhu, Ray T. Chen, Duane S. Boning, David Z. Pan
Optical computing is an emerging technology for next-generation efficient artificial intelligence (AI) due to its ultra-high speed and efficiency. Electromagnetic field simulation is critical to the design, optimization, and validation of photonic devices and circuits. However, costly numerical simulation significantly hinders the scalability and turn-around time in the photonic circuit design loop. Recently, physics-informed neural networks have been proposed to predict the optical field solution of a single instance of a partial differential equation (PDE) with predefined parameters. Their complicated PDE formulation and lack of efficient parametrization mechanisms limit their flexibility and generalization in practical simulation scenarios. In this work, for the first time, a physics-agnostic neural operator-based framework, dubbed NeurOLight, is proposed to learn a family of frequency-domain Maxwell PDEs for ultra-fast parametric photonic device simulation. We balance the efficiency and generalization of NeurOLight via several novel techniques. Specifically, we discretize different devices into a unified domain, represent parametric PDEs with a compact wave prior, and encode the incident light via masked source modeling. We design our model with parameter-efficient cross-shaped NeurOLight blocks and adopt superposition-based augmentation for data-efficient learning. With these synergistic approaches, NeurOLight generalizes to a large space of unseen simulation settings, demonstrates 2-orders-of-magnitude faster simulation speed than numerical solvers, and outperforms prior neural network models by ~54% lower prediction error with ~44% fewer parameters. Our code is available at https://github.com/JeremieMelo/NeurOLight.

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