Recently, interest in programmable photonics integrated circuits has grown as a potential hardware framework for deep neural networks, quantum computing, and field programmable arrays (FPGAs). However, these circuits are constrained by the limited tuning speed and large power consumption of the phase shifters used. In this paper, introduced for the first time are memresonators, or memristors heterogeneously integrated with silicon photonic microring resonators, as phase shifters with non-volatile memory. These devices are capable of retention times of 12 hours, switching voltages lower than 5 V, an endurance of 1,000 switching cycles. Also, these memresonators have been switched using voltage pulses as short as 300 ps with a record low switching energy of 0.15 pJ. Furthermore, these memresonators are fabricated on a heterogeneous III-V/Si platform capable of integrating a rich family of active, passive, and non-linear optoelectronic devices, such as lasers and detectors, directly on-chip to enable in-memory photonic computing and further advance the scalability of integrated photonic processor circuits.
Lifelong on-device learning is a key challenge for machine intelligence, and this requires learning from few, often single, samples. Memory augmented neural network has been proposed to achieve the goal, but the memory module has to be stored in an off-chip memory due to its size. Therefore the practical use has been heavily limited. Previous works on emerging memory-based implementation have difficulties in scaling up because different modules with various structures are difficult to integrate on the same chip and the small sense margin of the content addressable memory for the memory module heavily limited the degree of mismatch calculation. In this work, we implement the entire memory augmented neural network architecture in a fully integrated memristive crossbar platform and achieve an accuracy that closely matches standard software on digital hardware for the Omniglot dataset. The successful demonstration is supported by implementing new functions in crossbars in addition to widely reported matrix multiplications. For example, the locality-sensitive hashing operation is implemented in crossbar arrays by exploiting the intrinsic stochasticity of memristor devices. Besides, the content-addressable memory module is realized in crossbars, which also supports the degree of mismatches. Simulations based on experimentally validated models show such an implementation can be efficiently scaled up for one-shot learning on the Mini-ImageNet dataset. The successful demonstration paves the way for practical on-device lifelong learning and opens possibilities for novel attention-based algorithms not possible in conventional hardware.