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Photonic neural networks based on integrated silicon microresonators

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posted on 2023-06-10, 16:00 authored by Stefano Biasi, Giovanni Donati, Alessio Lugnan, Mattia Mancinelli, Emiliano Staffoli, Lorenzo Pavesi
The recent progress of artificial intelligence (AI) has boosted the computational possibilities in fields where standard computers are not able to perform. The AI paradigm is to emulate human intelligence and therefore breaks the familiar architecture on which digital computers are based. In particular, neuromorphic computing, artificial neural networks (ANN) and deep learning models mimic how the brain computes. Large networks of interconnected neurons whose synapsis are individually strengthened or weakened during the learning phase find many applications. With this respect, photonics is a suitable platform to implement ANN hardware thanks to its speed, low power dissipation and multi-wavelength opportunities. One photonic device candidate to perform as an optical neuron is the optical microring resonator. Indeed microring resonators show both a nonlinear response and a capability of optical energy storage, which can be interpreted as a fading memory. Moreover, by using silicon photonics, the photonic integrated circuits can be fabricated in volume and with integrated electronics on board. For these reasons, here, we describe the physics of silicon microring resonators and of arrays of microring resonators for application in neuromorphic computing. We describe different types of ANNs from feed-forward networks to photonics extreme learning machines and reservoir computing. In addition, we discuss also hybrid systems where silicon microresonators are coupled to other active materials. this review aims to introduce the basics and to discuss the most recent developments in the field.



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