Jun 8, 2019

New Photonic Chip Will Push to Limits of Computational Energy Efficiency Ten Million Times Beyond Conventional Chips

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A new photonic chip could run optical neural networks 10 million times more efficiently than conventional chips.

The classical physical limit for computing energy is the Landauer limit that sets a lower bound to the minimum heat dissipated per bit erasing operation. Performance below the thermodynamic (Landauer) limit for digital irreversible computation is theoretically possible in this device. The proposed accelerator can implement both fully connected and convolutional networks.

Previous photonic chips had bulky optical components that limited their use to relatively small neural networks. MIT researchers have a new photonic accelerator that uses more compact optical components and optical signal-processing techniques, to drastically reduce both power consumption and chip area. That allows the chip to scale to neural networks several orders of magnitude larger than its counterparts.

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