Fun-COMP researchers publish state-of-art summary type paper on integrated photonic phase-change computing

Wen Zhu and co-authors from Oxford, Exeter and Muenster provide a nice summary (in the MRS Bulletin) of the state-of-the art in terms of programming schemes for integrated phase-change photonic devices, as used for in-memory and neuromorphic computing. Specificaly we compare performances of PCM devices using optoelectronic programming schemes and show that energy consumption can be significantly reduced to 60 pJ using picosecond (ps) optical pulse programming and plasmonic nanogap devices with a programming speed approaching 1 GHz (remember the readout or inference speed of our devices is 10s of GHz, but the programming speed has been significantly slower than that to date). When integrated into processing systems and compared with digital electronic accelerators – application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) – these Fun-COMP photonic systems promise 1−3 orders higher compute density and energy efficiency, although much more work toward commercialization is still required. For more information see for the full article