Abstract

In this paper we study the resource requirements of electrooptical organizations in performing digital computing tasks. We define a generic model of parallel computation using optical interconnects, called the optical model of computation (OMC). In this model, computation is performed in digital electronics and communication is performed using free space optics. Using this model we derive relationships between information transfer and computational resources in solving a given problem. To illustrate our results, we concentrate on a computationally intensive operation, 2-D digital image convolution. Irrespective of the input/output scheme and the order of computation, we show a lower bound of Ω(nw) on the optical volume required for convolving a w × w kernel with an n × n image, if the input bits are given to the system only once.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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