Simon Bilodeau works at Princeton University.


Radio-Frequency Linear Analysis and Optimization of Silicon Photonic Neural Networks

Broadband analog signal processors utilizing silicon photonics have demonstrated a significant impact in numerous application spaces, offering unprecedented bandwidths, dynamic range, and tunability. In the past decade, microwave photonic techniques have been applied to neuromorphic processing, resulting in the development of novel photonic neural network architectures. Neuromorphic photonic systems can enable machine learning capabilities at extreme bandwidths and speeds. Herein, low-quality factor microring resonators are implemented to demonstrate broadband optical weighting. In addition, silicon photonic neural network architectures are critically evaluated, simulated, and optimized from a radio-frequency performance perspective. This analysis highlights the linear front-end of the photonic neural network, the effects of linear and nonlinear loss within silicon waveguides, and the impact of electrical preamplification.

Link Loss Analysis of Integrated Linear Weight Bank within Silicon Photonic Neural Network

Over the last decade, silicon photonic neural networks have demonstrated the possibility of photonic-enabled machine learning at the edge. These systems enable low-latency ultra-wideband classifications, channel estimations, and many other signal characterization tasks within wireless environments. While these proof-of-concept experiments have yielded promising results, poor device and architectural designs have resulted in sub-optimal bandwidth and noise performance. As a result, the application space of this technology has been limited to GHz bandwidths and high signal-to-ratio input signals. By applying a microwave photonic perspective to these systems, the authors demonstrate high-bandwidth operation while optimizing for RF performance metrics: instantaneous bandwidth, link loss, noise figure, and dynamic range. The authors explore the extended capabilities due to these improved metrics and potential architectures to continue further optimization. The authors introduce novel architectures and RF analysis for RF-optimized neuromorphic photonic hardware.

A system-on-chip microwave photonic processor solves dynamic RF interference in real-time with femtosecond latency

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.

Real-Time Photonic Blind Interference Cancellation

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.

Time Series Prediction and Classification using Silicon Photonic Neuron with Self-Connection

We experimentally demonstrated the real-time operation of a photonic neuron with a self-connection, a prerequisite for integrated recurrent neural networks (RNNs). After studying two applications, we propose a photonics-assisted platform for time series prediction and classification.

A Silicon Photonic-Electronic Neural Network for Fiber Nonlinearity Compensation

In optical communication systems, fibre nonlinearity is the major obstacle in increasing the transmission capacity. Typically, digital signal processing techniques and hardware are used to deal with optical communication signals, but increasing speed and computational complexity create challenges for such approaches. Highly parallel, ultrafast neural networks using photonic devices have the potential to ease the requirements placed on digital signal processing circuits by processing the optical signals in the analogue domain. Here we report a silicon photonic–electronic neural network for solving fibre nonlinearity compensation in submarine optical-fibre transmission systems. Our approach uses a photonic neural network based on wavelength-division multiplexing built on a silicon photonic platform compatible with complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor technology. We show that the platform can be used to compensate for optical fibre nonlinearities and improve the quality factor of the signal in a 10,080 km submarine fibre communication system. The Q-factor improvement is comparable to that of a software-based neural network implemented on a workstation assisted with a 32-bit graphic processing unit.

Demonstration of photonic neural network for fiber nonlinearity compensation in long-haul transmission systems

We demonstrate the experimental implementation of photonic neural network for fiber nonlinearity compensation over a 10,080 km trans-pacific transmission link. Q-factor improvement of 0.51 dB is achieved with only 0.06 dB lower than numerical simulations.