Time delay reservoir computing with a silicon microring resonator and a fiber-based optical feedback loop

Donati, Giovanni; Argyris, Apostolos; Mancinelli, Mattia; Mirasso, Claudio R.; Pavesi, Lorenzo
Optics Express 32 (8), 13419-13437 (2024)

Silicon microring resonators serve as critical components in integrated photonic neural network implementations, owing to their compact footprint, compatibility with CMOS technology, and passive nonlinear dynamics. Recent advancements have leveraged their filtering properties as weighting functions, and their nonlinear dynamics as activation functions with spiking capabilities. In this work, we investigate experimentally the linear and nonlinear dynamics of microring resonators for time delay reservoir computing, by introducing an external optical feedback loop. After effectively mitigating the impact of environmental noise on the fiber-based feedback phase dependencies, we evaluate the computational capacity of this system by assessing its performance across various benchmark tasks at a bit rate of few Mbps. We show that the additional memory provided by the optical feedback is necessary to achieve error-free operation in delayed-boolean tasks that require up to 3 bits of memory. In this case the microring was operated in the linear regime and the photodetection was the nonlinear activation function. We also show that the Santa Fe and Mackey Glass prediction tasks are solved when the microring nonlinearities are activated. Notably, our study reveals competitive outcomes even when employing only 7 virtual nodes within our photonic reservoir. Our findings illustrate the silicon microring’s versatile performance in the presence of optical feedback, highlighting its ability to be tailored for various computing applications.

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