Photonic optical accelerators: The future engine for the era of modern AI?

Maksim Makarenko, Qizhou Wang, Arturo Burguete-Lopez, Andrea Fratalocchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Photonic accelerators for Artificial Intelligence (AI) are rapidly advancing, promising to provide revolutionary computational speed for modern AI architectures. By leveraging photons with a bandwidth higher than 100 THz, photonic accelerators tackle the computational demands of AI tasks that GHz electronics alone cannot meet. Photonics accelerators integrate circuitry for matrix-vector operators and ultra-fast feature extractors, enabling energy-efficient and parallel computations that prove crucial for the training and inference of AI models in various applications, including classification, segmentation, and feature extraction. This Perspective discusses modern challenges and opportunities that optical computations open in AI for research and industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110902
JournalAPL Photonics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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