Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Competitive photonic neural networks

Photonics offers high hopes for next-generation neural network processors. Now it has been shown that even entirely using off-the-shelf photonics allows surpassing speed and energy efficiency of cutting-edge GPUs.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Optical neural network computing.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Marković, D., Mizrahi, A., Querlioz, D. & Grollier, J. Nat. Rev. Phys. 2, 499–510 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Psaltis, D., Brady, D., Gu, X.-G. & Lin, S. Nature 343, 325–330 (1990).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Zhou, T. et al. Nat. Photon. (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Rafayelyan, M., Dong, J., Tan, Y., Krzakala, F. & Gigan, S. Phys. Rev. X 10, 41037 (2020).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Lin, X. et al. Science 361, 1004–1008 (2018).

    Article  ADS  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  6. Dinc, N. U., Psaltis, D. & Brunner, D. Photoniques 114, 34–38 (2020).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Wetzstein, G. et al. Nature 588, 39–47 (2020).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Xu, X. et al. Nature 589, 44–51 (2021).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Feldmann, J. et al. Nature 589, 52–58 (2021).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Teğin, U., Yıldırım, M., Oğuz, İ., Moser, C. & Psaltis, D. Preprint at (2020).

  11. Porte, X. et al. Preprint at (2020).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Daniel Brunner.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Brunner, D., Psaltis, D. Competitive photonic neural networks. Nat. Photonics 15, 323–324 (2021).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing