CSEE Seminar - Neuromorphic Photonics

Towards Ultrafast Brain-Inspired Computing Systems

  • Wed 5 Dec 18

    16:00 - 18:00

  • Colchester Campus

    Colchester Campus

  • Event speaker

    Dr Antonio Hurtado

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    CSEE Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of

  • Contact details

    CSEE School Office

Photonic techniques emulating the brain’s powerful computational capabilities are attracting considerable research interest as these offer promise for ultrafast operation speeds.

In this talk we will review our approaches for ultrafast photonic neuronal models based upon Semiconductor Lasers, the very same devices used to transmit internet data traffic over fiber-optic telecommunication networks.

We will show that a wide range of neuronal computational features, including spike activation, spiking inhibition, bursting, etc., can be optically reproduced with these devices in a controllable and reproducible way at sub-nanosecond time scales (up to 9 orders of magnitude faster than the millisecond timescales of biological neurons). Moreover, all our results are obtained using off-the-shelf, inexpensive Vertical-Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) emitting at 1310 and 1550 nm; hence making our approach fully compatible with current optical communication technologies.

Further, we will also introduce our recent work demonstrating the successful communication of sub-nanosecond spiking signals between interconnected artificial VCSEL-based photonic neurons and the potential of these systems for the ultrafast emulation of basic cortical neuronal circuits. These early results offer great prospects for novel neuromorphic (brain-like) photonic networks for brain-inspired ultrafast information processing systems going beyond traditional digital computing platforms.

CSEE Seminar - Neuromorphic Photonics

Dr Antonio Hurtado is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow). After gaining his PhD from the Universidad Politécnica Madrid (Spain), he pursued an international photonics research career, working in the UK (Univs. Essex and Strathclyde) and the USA (University of New Mexico). He has worked in diverse projects funded by European, UK and US agencies, and has been awarded two competitive Marie Curie Fellowships by the European Commission. At Strathclyde, he leads a research initiative on Neuromorphic Photonics and is currently Principal Investigator for the ‘BrainLaser’ project funded by the Office of Naval Research Global and the FET Open project ‘ChipAI’ funded by the European Commission. 

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