Ultrafast all-optical implementation of a leaky integrate-and-fire neuron

Konstantin Kravtsov, Mable P. Fok, David Rosenbluth, Paul R. Prucnal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


In this paper, we demonstrate for the first time an ultrafast fully functional photonic spiking neuron. Our experimental setup constitutes a complete all-optical implementation of a leaky integrate-and-fire neuron, a computational primitive that provides a basis for general purpose analog optical computation. Unlike purely analog computational models, spiking operation eliminates noise accumulation and results in robust and efficient processing. Operating at gigahertz speed, which corresponds to at least 108 speed-up compared with biological neurons, the demonstrated neuron provides all functionality required by the spiking neuron model. The two demonstrated prototypes and a demonstrated feedback operation mode prove the feasibility and stability of our approach and show the obtained performance characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2133-2147
Number of pages15
JournalOptics Express
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 31 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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