Reservoir computing has rekindled neuromorphic computing in photonics. One of the simplest technological implementations of reservoir computing consists of a semiconductor laser with delayed optical feedback. In this delay-based scheme, virtual nodes are distributed in time with a certain node distance and form a time-multiplexed network. The information processing performance of a semiconductor laser-based reservoir computing (RC) system is usually analysed by way of testing the laser-based reservoir computer on specific benchmark tasks. In this work, we will illustrate the optimal performance of the system on a chaotic time-series prediction benchmark. However, the goal is to analyse the reservoir’s performance in a task-independent way. This is done by calculating the computational capacity, a measure for the total number of independent calculations that the system can handle. We focus on the dependence of the computational capacity on the specifics of the masking procedure. We find that the computational capacity depends strongly on the virtual node distance with an optimal node spacing of 30 ps. In addition, we show that the computational capacity can be further increased by allowing for a well chosen mismatch between delay and input data sample time.
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