Optical spike amplitude weighting and neuromimetic rate coding using a joint VCSEL-MRR neuromorphic photonic system

Matěj Hejda, Eli A. Doris, Simon Bilodeau, Joshua Robertson, Dafydd Owen-Newns, Bhavin J Shastri, Paul R Prucnal, Antonio Hurtado

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Abstract

Spiking neurons and neural networks constitute a fundamental building block for brain-inspired computing, which is poised to benefit significantly from photonic hardware implementations. In this work, we experimentally investigate an interconnected optical neuromorphic system based on an ultrafast spiking vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) neuron and a silicon photonics (SiPh) integrated micro-ring resonator (MRR). We experimentally demonstrate two different functional arrangements of these devices: first, we show that MRR weight banks can be used in conjunction with the spiking VCSEL-neurons to perform amplitude weighting of sub-ns optical spiking signals. Second, we show that a continuously firing VCSEL-neuron can be directly modulated using a locking signal propagated through a single weighting MRR, and we utilise this functionality to perform optical spike firing rate-coding via thermal tuning of the MRR. Given the significant track record of both integrated weight banks and photonic VCSEL-neurons, we believe these results demonstrate the viability of combining these two classes of devices for use in functional neuromorphic photonic systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number024011
Number of pages11
JournalNeuromorphic Computing and Engineering
Volume4
Issue number2
Early online date14 May 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • spiking neurons
  • neural networks
  • optical neuromorphic system

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