Neuromorphic photonic networks using silicon photonic weight banks
To emulate a spiking neuron, a photonic component needs to be excitable. In this paper, we theoretically simulate and experimentally demonstrate cascadable excitability near a self-pulsation regime in high-Q-factor silicon-on-insulator microrings. For the theoretical study we use Coupled Mode Theory. While neglecting the fast energy and phase dynamics of the cavity light, we can still preserve the most important microring dynamics, by only keeping the temperature difference with the surroundings and the amount of free carriers as dynamical variables of the system. Therefore we can analyse the microring dynamics in a 2D phase portrait. For some wavelengths, when changing the input power, the microring undergoes a subcritical Andronov-Hopf bifurcation at the self-pulsation onset. As a consequence the system shows class II excitability. Experimental single ring excitability and self-pulsation behaviour follows the theoretic predictions. Moreover, simulations and experiments show that this excitation mechanism is cascadable.