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Multichannel meta-imagers for accelerating machine vision

Publication Type
Journal Name
Nature Nanotechnology
Publication Date
Page Numbers
471 to 478

Rapid developments in machine vision technology have impacted a variety of applications, such as medical devices and autonomous driving systems. These achievements, however, typically necessitate digital neural networks with the downside of heavy computational requirements and consequent high energy consumption. As a result, real-time decision-making is hindered when computational resources are not readily accessible. Here we report a meta-imager designed to work together with a digital back end to offload computationally expensive convolution operations into high-speed, low-power optics. In this architecture, metasurfaces enable both angle and polarization multiplexing to create multiple information channels that perform positively and negatively valued convolution operations in a single shot. We use our meta-imager for object classification, achieving 98.6% accuracy in handwritten digits and 88.8% accuracy in fashion images. Owing to its compactness, high speed and low power consumption, our approach could find a wide range of applications in artificial intelligence and machine vision applications.