Hardware error correction for programmable photonics was published in Optica
Authors: Saumil Bandyopadhyay, Ryan Hamerly, and Dirk Englund
Published on 27 September 2021.
Abstract: Programmable photonic circuits of reconfigurable interferometers can be used to implement arbitrary operations on optical modes, providing a flexible platform for accelerating tasks in quantum simulation, signal processing, and artificial intelligence. A major obstacle to scaling up these systems is static fabrication error, where small component errors within each device accrue to produce significant errors within the circuit computation. Mitigating this error usually requires numerical optimization dependent on real-time feedback from the circuit, which can greatly limit the scalability of the hardware. Here we present a deterministic approach to correcting circuit errors by locally correcting hardware errors within individual optical gates. We apply our approach to simulations of large scale optical neural networks and infinite impulse response filters implemented in programmable photonics, finding that they remain resilient to component error well beyond modern day process tolerances. Our results highlight a potential way to scale up programmable photonics to hundreds of modes with current fabrication processes.