Brain-like processors created, with simultaneous data processing and storage

Folks over at the University of Exeter have demonstrated what they call the memflector-an optical equivalent of the memristor. Built using advanced semiconductor materials capable of phase change, the team has constructed a processor that can compute and store data simultaneously. This is quite unlike today’s computers, which have separate components for memory and processing, but is supposedly very similar to what our brains, or biological computers do.

The team is calling their advancements a large step forward in computing, potentially leading to much faster, cheaper, and more power efficient computers. The work is also a big step toward achieving another milestone in the filed-‘brain-like’ computing. The memflector-based processor demonstrated synaptic-like functionality, with each phase-change cell mimicking the “integrate and fire” mechanism of a neuron. The processor is also capable of reliably executing the four basic arithmetic functions.

Hopes are high for the new technology, and the team’s next step is down the biological alley, aiming to develop better brain-like computers by making their still basic processor much more complex, with interconnected systems of phase change cells that can ‘learn’ simple tasks using both memory and computing, such as pattern and object recognition.


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Comments (4)

  1. Blaise MouttetMarch 5, 2012 Reply
    Hopefully there is more scientific merit with this than the so-called “memristor” of HP.
  2. Sashank AryalMarch 10, 2012 Reply
    The use of advanced semiconductors shall gradually replace silicon transistors and human beings will find themselves in the new world with bizarre beings in no more distant future. Whoa!
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