AI News, Optical neural network demo

Optical neural network demo

The human brain has billions of neurons (nerve cells), each with thousands of connections to other neurons.

'Light's advantages could improve the performance of neural nets for scientific data analysis such as searches for Earth-like planets and quantum information science, and accelerate the development of highly intuitive control systems for autonomous vehicles,' NIST physicist Jeff Chiles said.

Described in a new paper, the NIST chip overcomes a major challenge to the use of light signals by vertically stacking two layers of photonic waveguides -- structures that confine light into narrow lines for routing optical signals, much as wires route electrical signals.

The stacked waveguides form a three-dimensional grid with 10 inputs or 'upstream' neurons each connecting to 10 outputs or 'downstream' neurons, for a total of 100 receivers.

The authors demonstrated two schemes for controlling output intensity: uniform (each output receives the same power) and a 'bell curve' distribution (in which middle neurons receive the most power, while peripheral neurons receive less).

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