High-performance parallel computing for next-generation holographic imaging


Holography is a method of recording and reproducing three-dimensional (3D) images, and the widespread availability of computers has encouraged the development of holographic 3D screens (electroholography). However, the technology has not yet been used in practical applications because a hologram requires an enormous volume of data and modern computing power is inadequate to process this volume of data in real time. Here, we show that a special-purpose holography computing board, which uses eight large-scale field-programmable gate arrays, can be used to generate 108-pixel holograms that can be updated at a video frame rate. With our approach, we achieve a parallel operation of 4,480 hologram calculation circuits on a single board, and by clustering eight of these boards, we can increase the number of parallel calculations to 35,840. Using a 3D image composed of 7,877 points, we show that 108-pixel holograms can be updated at a video rate, thus allowing 3D movies to be projected. We also demonstrate that the system speed scales up in a linear manner as the number of parallel circuits is increased. The system operates at 0.25 GHz with an effective speed equivalent to 0.5 petaflops (1015 floating-point operations per second), matching that of a high-performance computer.

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Fig. 1: HORN-8 board.
Fig. 2: HORN-8 pipeline in one FPGA chip.
Fig. 3: Performance of the HORN-8 system.
Fig. 4: Electroholography from the eight-board HORN-8 cluster system.
Fig. 5: Large-scale electroholography by the eight-board HORN-8 cluster system.


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This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Grant-in-Aid No. 25240015).

Author information




T.I. planed the project. T.Sugie and T.I designed the HORN-8 board, and T.Sugie and M.O. developed it. T.A., T.Sugie and T.I. designed the circuit of the HORN-8 system, and T.A. implemented it to FPGA. R.H., H.N., T.Sugie, T.A, T.Shimobaba and T.I. evaluated the HORN-8 system. H.N. and R.H. created 3D models for holography. T.N., N.T., Y.E., N.M. and T.Shimobaba developed the supported algorithms for the HORN-8 system. Y.I., A.S. and T.K. built the optical system. All authors contributed to the discussions and reviewed the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Tomoyoshi Ito.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Video 1

Real-time optical reconstruction of electroholography from the eight-board HORN-8 cluster system. The image was reconstructed from a 2-million-pixel hologram with 6.5-μm pixel pitch.

Supplementary Video 2

Simulation of a wide field-of-view electroholography from the eight-board HORN-8 cluster system. The image was computationally reconstructed from a 100-million-pixel hologram with 1-μm pixel pitch. The viewing angle of the hologram is approximately 30°.

Supplementary Video 3

Large-scale electroholographic image obtained using the eight-board HORN-8 cluster system. A 100-million-pixel hologram was generated from a 10-million-point object and reconstructed via simulation. The object data were divided into 160 blocks, and a separate hologram was prepared for each. These were then reconstructed by the time-division method to obtain a single still image.

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Sugie, T., Akamatsu, T., Nishitsuji, T. et al. High-performance parallel computing for next-generation holographic imaging. Nat Electron 1, 254–259 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-018-0057-5

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