Call for Publicly Offered Research

Publicly Offered Research

MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A) ”Photonic Computing Highlighting Ultimate Nature of Light”
 Period of Research:       FY 2023–2024
 Official Webpage in MEXT:

■Details of Research Area

 Optics and photonics are expected to contribute to next-generation computing to accommodate massively growing information processing demands and emerging applications. This Research Area in Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research (A) highlights the ultimate physical nature of light and photonic technologies—notably by high bandwidth, energy efficiency, multiplexing attributes, and interfacing ability to real-world environments—for computing and intelligent functionalities.
 There are three principal approaches in this Research Area. The first is to create novel computing mechanisms utilizing the ultimate physical limit of light (Research Group B). The second is to develop novel substrates or devices to uncover the potential capability of light for computing (Research Group C). The third is to resolve architectural limits that prevent the successful utilization of light in computing (Research Group A). This Research Area seeks to intertwine various scientific disciplines, including optics, photonics, physics, informatics, and computer science, among others, to establish an exciting emerging field of research represented by the title: Photonic computing highlighting ultimate nature of light.

■Call for Proposals and Expectations for Publicly Offered Research, etc.

 This Research Area calls for proposals as Publicly Offered Research in all aspects of the initiative ranging from Research Groups A, B, and C that excel in originality and novelty to meet the fundamental concept of this Research Area entitled Photonic computing highlighting ultimate nature of light. The interdisciplinary research of photonics and computing has been extensively studied recently, including the transformation to industry on optical hardware accelerators. Photonic computing research is entering a new era, expecting innovative fundamental research for future information processing infrastructure. The aim and role of the Publicly Offered Research of the Research Area are to contribute to building solid foundations of photonic computing as well as extending applications.
 The Publicly Offered Research's duration and budget are, however, limited. Therefore, the proposals are highly expected to excel in their originality and novelty while highlighting their unique perspectives, principles, or technologies involving optics and photonics for contributing to innovative computing. In particular, the proposals are expected to focus on one of the following perspectives of Research Groups in this Research Area. Research Group A03, entitled System Architecture to benefit from the ultimate nature of light, sheds light on architectural limitations that prevent the successful utilization of photonics for computing, which are related to the fields of computer sciences, application systems, and mathematical sciences, among others. Research Group B04, entitled Computing Mechanism to exploit ultimate nature of light, focuses on realizing novel computing mechanisms based on the unique physical attributes of photons. The relevant field of research includes information physics, information photonics, quantum sciences, and nonlinear systems. Research Group C03, entitled Device Fundamentals to benefit from the ultimate nature of light, encompasses devices and materials to uncover the potential of light for computing. The related field of research includes optical devices, electronic devices, nanotechnologies, and material sciences. In the meantime, all research proposals are expected to have discussions regarding their future applications, since this Research Area intends to contribute to future information processing and computing paradigms through optics and photonics. Note that this request does not mean that application development is mandatory. The Research Area asks all proposals to consider the relevance to applications and other related research.
 The interdisciplinarity of this Research Area is particularly characteristic, which includes, but is not limited to, optical science, information science, computer science, electrical engineering, communications engineering, mathematical science, and material science, among others. The applications cover a variety of computing, information, and communications technologies, but other scenarios may be considered. Indeed, the extension, expansion, and deepening of the photonic computing research domains is one of the important aims of this Research Area. Cultivating and enriching the network of researchers and developing young researchers is additional value to be accomplished through Publicly Offered Research in the Research Area.

■Research Group, Upper Limit of Annual Budget, and Number of research projects
 scheduled to be selected

Research Group Upper Limit of Annual Budget
(Million yen)
Number of
research projects
scheduled to be
A03 System Architecture to benefit from ultimate nature of light 2.5
B04 Computing Mechanism to exploit ultimate nature of light
C03 Device Fundamentals to benefit from ultimate nature of light