Signal Processing using Spectrally Phase-Encoded Optical Frequency Combs for High Speed Computing and Pattern Recognition

Technology #31090

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Schematic diagram of an optical parallel signal processor configured for identifYing a multiplicity of target objects within a real time signalSchematic diagram of a spatial-spectral holographic detection system for real time filteringSchematic diagram of a temporal-spectral interferometer that is useful in time domain based convolutionSchematic block diagram showing the initial device configuration for achieving optically based optical CDMA decoding oflight based on optical matched filteringSchematic diagram of performing matched filtering using spatial-spectral holography
Peter Delfyett, Ph.D.
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Signal processing using spectrally phase-encoded optical frequency combs

US Patent 7,917,039 B1

Methods, apparatus and systems for a high speed signal processing system

As the amount of digital information and communication increases, timely and accurate data collection for software based evaluation and correlation becomes increasingly more difficult. The increase in difficulty arises from three main issues: the sheer volume of the data being generated, the nature of the desired information relative to the comparison set and the desired information lies in the noise of the overall data set being evaluated. Thus an integration of fundamental advancements in the generation and recognition of optical patterns to improve the speed of high performance computing and data mining is needed. Existing high performance computer designs face the historical challenges of generating enormous amounts of heat, processing latencies measured in tens of nanoseconds and poor general processing flexibility. One lossless approach to overcoming these limitations is to perform the computing function with light. However, for the last three decades optical computing has been the perennial technology of tomorrow because of the persistent limitations imposed by the lack of programmability and the slow translation of electric data into optical regime.

Technical Details

The present invention introduces coherent optical signal processing via spectrally phase encoded optical frequency combs for real time optical filters and pattern recognition. It is a robust, compact, scalable optical signal processing system for enhancing the speed of high performance computing by more than three orders of magnitude. This is based upon the integration of fundamental advancements in the generation and relational recognition of optical patterns. The present invention demonstrates a clear and achievable path towards making programmable optical computing a reality by overcoming historical barriers.


  • Unprecedented signal sensitivity and dynamic range is achieved
  • Enhanced speed of high performance computing and data mining by two orders of magnitude
  • Small footprint and modest cost without energy intensive cooling requirements
  • Reduced transmit power, resulting in reduced heat generation


  • Advanced information
  • Data mining
  • Optically searching patterns in video communication
  • National security, law enforcement, and military

Additional Technology Numbers: 32110