Neural Network Activation Functions with Electro-Optic Absorption Modulators

Jonathan George, Armin Mehrabian, Rubab Amin, Paul Richard Prucnal, Tarek El-Ghazawi, Volker J. Sorger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neural networks require both a weighting of inputs and a nonlinear activation function operating on their sum. Neural network weighting has been demonstrated in integrated photonics with both interferometric and ring-based wavelength division multiplexing. While direct nonlinearity in optics is difficult to achieve without high optical powers, an electro-optic nonlinearity can be created by directly coupling a photodiode to electro-optic modulator. The low capacitance of directly coupling the components results in operating speeds >10 GHz with relatively low power consumption. Here we present a closed form equation for the activation functions created by graphene and quantum well electro-optic absorption modulators capacitively coupled to photodiodes. Our modulator-geometry based and thermal-noise analysis shows that such electro-optic neurons produce SNRs around 60. Performing an MNIST classification inference test on a feed-forward neural network with these electrooptic nodes, with accuracies of about 95% starting a laser power level around 5mW and 20mW for the QW and Graphene-based modulator, respectively. Our findings show regions of realistic operating performance of future optical and photonic neural networks using electro-optic analogue (non-spiking)neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538691700
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 8 2019
Event2018 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2018 - Tysons, United States
Duration: Nov 7 2018Nov 9 2018

Publication series

Name2018 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2018

Conference

Conference2018 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2018
CountryUnited States
CityTysons
Period11/7/1811/9/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture

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    George, J., Mehrabian, A., Amin, R., Prucnal, P. R., El-Ghazawi, T., & Sorger, V. J. (2019). Neural Network Activation Functions with Electro-Optic Absorption Modulators. In 2018 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2018 [8638590] (2018 IEEE International Conference on Rebooting Computing, ICRC 2018). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRC.2018.8638590