Photonic Ising Machines

01 January 2022 → 31 December 2025
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Photonics, optoelectronics and optical communications
  • Engineering and technology
    • Photonics, light and lighting
    • Nanophotonics
combinatorial optimisation
Project description

Combinatorial optimization is the basis of many computational problems that are commonplace in our society, e.g. in logistics, finance or pharmaceutical research. However, for many real-world applications, finding a solution requires high-performance computer clusters that consume large amounts of energy and run for a long time. This project aims to create a radically new platform of analogue hardware accelerators, so-called Ising machines, that efficiently speed up these computationally difficult tasks in a way unlike any current digital computer. These Ising machines are a newly emerging computational concept and have shown great promise. Yet, their implementation is still highly challenging due to limited bandwidth, scalability and stability issues. A breakthrough is needed to make them practical for real-world applications. Photonics presents an ideal way to achieve this breakthrough due to its inherent parallelism and high speed. We aim to create accelerators for a broad set of problems, that are orders of magnitude faster and more energy efficient than digital computer and state-of-the art Ising machines.