Analog Photonic Computation (ANBIT)


2023 - 2028


For over 5 decades, digital electronics has covered the increasing demand for computing power thanks to a periodic doubling of transistor density in integrated circuits. Currently, such scaling law is reaching its fundamental limit, leading to the emergence of a large gamut of applications that cannot be supported by digital electronics, specifically, those that involve real-time analog multi-data processing, e.g., medical diagnostic imaging, drug design and robotic control, among others. Here, an analog computing approach implemented in a reconfigurable non-electronic technology such as programmable integrated photonics (PIP) can be more efficient than digital electronics to perform these emerging applications. However, actual computing models were not conceived to extract the benefits of PIP. The aim of ANBIT is to develop an entirely new class of computation theory – termed Analog Photonic Computation (APC) – specifically designed to unleash the full potential of PIP technology. The core concept revolves around the idea of performing analog operations on a new unit of information, the analog bit or anbit, conceived as a two-dimensional analog function and matched to the building block of PIP circuits. ANBIT will reach its objectives by: 1) developing the theory of APC based on operations (gates) of anbits, 2) translating the principles of APC to the design of PIP circuits by concatenating single- and multi-anbit gates, 3) fabricating, packaging, testing and validating silicon PIP chips capable of implementing complex APC architectures, 4) designing, coordinating, setting and performing experiments that will prove the unique potential of APC in computational and signal processing applications with huge takeover. ANBIT will deliver a new computing paradigm that extracts the full potential of PIP technology, which in turn will have a crucial impact on fundamental and applied research and on our information society.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101097092


European Research Council (ERC) - Advanced Grant

Principal investigator

  José Capmany Francoy

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Research Group

Photonics Research Labs (PRL)