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Optical Information Processing on Chips Inspired by Human Brain

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Diagram of part of a small neural network.

Researchers at Ghent University have created a small 16-node neural network using a silicon photonics chip.

Credit: Ghent University

The way the human brain works is the inspiration for a new technique for optical information processing on chips. Researchers from Ghent University have manufactured a small, 16-node neural network in hardware, using a silicon photonics chip.

The scientists made the chip using the same technology as traditional computer chips. However, the silicon photonics chip uses light instead of electricity to carry information, and the researchers say their approach has potential for high speed and low power consumption, among other advantages.

The team has experimentally shown the same chip can be used for a diverse range of tasks, such as calculations with memory on a bit stream and header recognition. Simulations also have demonstrated the same chip can perform limited speech recognition of individual spoken digits.

From Ghent University
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