We demonstrate, experimentally and theoretically, excitable
nanosecond optical pulses in optoelectronic integrated circuits operating at telecommunication wavelengths (1550 nm) comprising a nanoscale double barrier quantum well resonant tunneling diode (RTD) photo-detector driving a laser diode (LD). When perturbed either electrically or optically by an input signal above a certain threshold, the optoelectronic circuit generates short electrical and optical excitable pulses mimicking the spiking
behavior of biological neurons. Interestingly, the asymmetric nonlinear characteristic of the RTD-LD allows for two different regimes where one obtain either single pulses or a burst of multiple pulses. The high-speed excitable response capabilities are promising for neurally inspired information applications in photonics.