Area of relevance: 
Information and Communication
1 January 2010 - 31 December 2012
Funded by: 
European Commission, EU


The aim of the PHOCUS project is to explore a novel concept of bio-inspired photonic computation. It is based on liquid state machines (LSM), promising versatile and fast signal handling. The project targets high computational performance with only a small number of components, using time-delay systems. Optical information processing remains to be a major challenge in nowadays and future photonics networks. Huge amounts of data need to be processed in photonics, but also in biological or economical systems. Despite of increasing computing power, new approaches are desired and required. The implementation of a LSM represents such an alternative approach towards computation. It has been shown that it serves universal computational properties. Any operation can be realized, outperforming other approaches for certain tasks. The project employs delay-coupled optical systems as substrates for LSMs. They allow achieving complex dynamics and thus the required mapping with only few elements. Moreover, photonic systems have proven to be robust and well-controllable, offering high processing speed and low power consumption. The photonic implementation is supported by modeling and theory, and complemented by studies on versatile electronic systems. With a consortium comprising expertise from photonics, neuroscience, nonlinear dynamics, complex systems, and electronics, the project explores and implements this novel concept, promising major impact on future information processing.