The DREAM: An integrated photonic thresholder

Alexander N. Tait, Bhavin J. Shastri, Mable P. Fok, Mitchell A. Nahmias, Paul R. Prucnal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We propose a novel all-optical integrated thresholder called the dual resonator enhanced asymmetric Mach-Zehnder interferometer (DREAM). Unlike prior integrated photonic devices, the DREAM exhibits properties of stable binary decision making, outputting a constant 'one' power value for signals above a certain power level and 'zero' for signals of lower powers. This thresholding shape arises from the interference of complementary nonlinear effects of two microring resonators (MRR), one in each arm of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI). The proposed device performs several orders of magnitude better in size, decision latency, energy efficiency, and stability compared to fiber-based methods of optical thresholding. It is best suited for application in densely integrated systems where rapid conversion between analog and digital signal domains is ubiquitous, such as hybrid analog-digital and neuromorphic processing architectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6459513
Pages (from-to)1263-1272
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


  • Integrated optics
  • interferometry
  • microresonators
  • silicon on insulator technology
  • threshold logic devices


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