Photonic circuits and probabilistic computing
- This work explores computing in the noisy, stochastic, low-power setting, particularly with photonic systems. Stochasticity and noisy operation has been with computing since its earliest days, before the development of extremely reliable components (e.g. CMOS) enabled reliable digital and analog operation and relegated noise to a low level of abstraction. As the limits of current technologies are reached, as power consumption becomes a bottleneck for computing, and as novel stochastic algorithms are developed, a probabilistic approach extends usefully beyond the level of single components: from stochastic encoding of information to entire circuit architectures. Photonic systems - which can involve the interaction of a handful of photons with a handful of internal degrees of freedom like atomic states - provide a natural platform for consideration of noisy, low-power computing. This is a work in two parts. In Part I I investigate applications of photonic circuits for power-efficient computation. I propose a circuit architecture for the decoding of low density parity-check codes that uses only optical waveguides, noisy optical switches, and is inherently tolerant of faults affecting its components; one of its most appealing features is the graceful degradation of performance and computation time as we lower the power in the laser that powers the device. I also introduce various design motifs that I hope will be useful to future optical engineers. Part II has a more information theoretic flavor. I consider several optics-inspired models for encoding information stochastically - e.g., in the distribution of optical power over multiple waveguides, or multiple frequency bands for a Gaussian channel, prove some optimality results about some of the schemes I propose, and discuss energy-efficient communication for these setups.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Pavlichin, Dmitri Serguei
|Stanford University, Department of Physics.
|Statement of responsibility
|Dmitri Serguei Pavlichin.
|Submitted to the Department of Physics.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2014.
- © 2014 by Dmitri Pavlichin
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (CC BY).
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