Photons for Machine Intelligence

Hosted By: Photonic Detection Technical Group

18 October 2021, 13:00 - 14:00 - Eastern Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

Photonic technologies are at the forefront of the ongoing 4th industrial revolution of digitalization supporting applications such as 5G networks, virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, and electronic warfare. With Moore’s law and Dennard scaling now being limited by fundamental physics, the trend in processor heterogeneity suggests the possibility for special-purpose photonic processors such as neural networks or RF-signal & image filtering. Here unique opportunities exist, for example, given by algorithmic parallelism of analog and distributed non-van Neumann architectures enabling non-iterative O(1) processors with ps-short delay introducing real-time decision making.

In this webinar hosted by the Photonic Detection Technical Group, Prof. Volker Sorger and Prof. Puneet Gupta will share their latest work on photonic information processors to include a massively-parallel Fourier-optic convolutional neural network processor [OPTICA], network-architectural-search explorations, a photonic tensor core including a non-volatile photonic RAM enabling compute-in-memory [Appl. Phys. Rev.] and mirror symmetry perception via coincidence detection of spiking neural networks [arXiv]. In summary, photonics connects the worlds of electronics and optics, thus enabling new concepts of efficient intelligence information processing via algorithm-hardware homomorphism empowered by the distinctive properties of light.

Subject Matter Level: Intermediate - Assumes basic knowledge of the topic

What You Will Learn:

  • An overview of the emerging field of optoelectronic computing
  • Amplitude-only Fourier-optical neural networks

Who Should Attend:

  • Researchers, scientists, and graduate students in photonics, optics, and optical computing

About the Presenters:

Volker J. Sorger, George Washington University and Optelligence Company

Volker J. Sorger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the director of the Photonic AI and Technology Laboratory at the George Washington University. For his work, Dr. Sorger received multiple awards among are the PECASE, the AFOSR YIP, the Hegarty Innovation Prize, and the National Academy of Sciences award of the year. Dr. Sorger is the editor-in-chief of NANOPHOTONICS and holds the position of the OSA Division Chair for ‘Photonics and Opto-electronics’ serving at the boards of OSA & SPIE. He is a senior member of IEEE, OSA & SPIE, and the founder of Optelligence Company. Further details at



Puneet Gupta, University of California, Los Angeles

Puneet Gupta is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the director of the NanoCAD Laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles. For his work, Dr. Gupta received numerous distinctions to include the IBM Faculty Award, the ACM/SIGDA Outstanding New Faculty Award, the SRC Inventor Recognition Award, and the NSF CAREER Award. Further details at