Physical neural networks are very fast

CHARLES Q. CHOI writing for IEEE Spectrum:

In a new study, researchers have developed a photonic deep neural network that can directly analyze images without the need for a clock, sensor, or large memory modules. It can classify an image in less than 570 picoseconds, which is comparable with a single clock cycle in state-of-the-art microchips.

“It can classify nearly 2 billion images per second,” says study senior author Firooz Aflatouni, an electrical engineer at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

Photonic Chip Performs Image Recognition at the Speed of Light

There appears to be an increasing amount of research activity in the field of physical neural networks.

And it’s not just optics. Researchers are using vibrations, voltages, lasers, etc.