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Alireza Marandi, Stanford: Optical Coherent Computing for NP-hard problems

Meet Alireza Marandi who is working on an exciting new approach to computing with optics. Its promise is to solve hard problems using less energy than other QC paradigms.

Title: Optical Coherent Computing: A Novel Quantum Device for Solving NP-Hard Problems.

Abstract: Combinatorial optimization problems are ubiquitous in many fields including biology, medicine, machine learning and artificial intelligence, wireless communications, and social networks. Many of these problems belong to the non-deterministic polynomial time (NP)-complete and NP-hard complexity classes. So far no efficient classical or quantum algorithm is known for them, and the quest for novel computing machines to solve large-scale NP-hard problems continues.

In this talk we introduce a novel computational concept based on the quantum phase transition in a network of optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) for solving NP-hard problems. We present the promising simulation results, and the first successful experiment. This computing machine operates at room temperature and is realized using commercially available optical technologies. We discuss the differences with conventional quantum computing, classical and quantum annealing, and overview the future prospect.  

Bio: Alireza Marandi is a post-doctoral scholar at Stanford University working with Profs. Y. Yamamoto and R. L. Byer in the field of quantum and nonlinear optics.  His research is focused on ultrafast and frequency comb techniques for quantum information applications. Alireza received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in January 2013. Before Stanford, he completed his Masters at University of Victoria, Canada, and his undergraduate studies at University of Tehran, Iran, both in Electrical Engineering.

1. Z. Wang, A. Marandi, K. Wen, R. L. Byer, Y. Yamamoto, Phys. Rev. A 88,[masked] (2013). (
2. A. Marandi, N. C. Leindecker, K. L. Vodopyanov, R. L. Byer, Opt. Express 20,[masked] (2012). (
3. Y. Yamamoto, K. Takata, S. Utsunomiya, New Generation Computing 30.4 (2012): 327-356. (
4. S. Utsunomiya, K. Takata, Y. Yamamoto, Opt. Express 19, 18091 (2011)(

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  • Etienne J.

    Alireza, do you know of any work done on a time division multiplexing scheme for applications to classical computer architecture? It seems the method you described might be interesting even for classical computing.

    February 21, 2014

  • Etienne J.

    Thank you, Alireza, for this excellent presentation.

    February 21, 2014

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