Jeffrey M. Shainline, Adam N. McCaughan, Sonia M. Buckley, Richard P. Mirin, Sae Woo Nam, Amir Jafari-Salim
A superconducting optoelectronic neuron will produce a small current pulse upon reaching threshold. We present an amplifier chain which converts this small current pulse to a voltage pulse sufficient to produce light from a semiconductor diode. This light is the signal used to communicate between neurons in the network. The amplifier chain comprises two Josephson junctions, a superconducting thin-film current-gated current amplifier, and a superconducting thin-film current-gated voltage amplifier. We analyze the performance of the elements in the amplifier chain in the time domain to calculate the energy consumption per photon created for several values of light-emitting diode capacitance and efficiency. The speed of the amplification sequence allows neuronal firing up to at least 20 MHz with power density low enough to be cooled easily with standard $^4$He cryogenic systems operating at 4.2 K.