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A Chip Which Behaves and Acts Like Your Brain

Image 1 Caption: A close-up view of a new neuromorphic “brain-on-a-chip”

Comprising tens of thousands of artificial synapses said to be memristors, MIT engineers is reported to have developed a “brain-on-a-chip”. These components are of silicon-based are known to replicate and mimic signals of different variables and not just 0 and 1.

The chip also has the capability to store images and deliver back when needed. These new memristor is pivotally becoming the future-ready design for neuromorphic devices.

These brain-inspired circuits can slate the future of demystifying complex computational tasks which are today only done by supercomputers.

Jeehwan Kim, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT has been the lead researcher in this space. Jeehwan notes, “We’re trying to build real neural network hardware for portable artificial intelligence systems. So far, artificial synapse networks exist as software.”

Jeehwan also noted, “Connecting a neuromorphic device to a camera on your car, and having it recognize lights and objects and make a decision immediately, without having to connect to the internet.”

Not just giving answers to complex equations, these memristor are capable of visual classification of an object.

Kim says that existing memristor designs work pretty well in cases where voltage stimulates a large conduction channel, or a heavy flow of ions from one electrode to the other. But these designs are less reliable when memristors need to generate subtler signals, via thinner conduction channels.

Conventionally engineers use silver material for a memristor’s positive electrode. Kim’s team found an element that they could combine with silver to effectively hold silver ions together, while allowing them to flow quickly through to the other electrode.

The team landed on copper as the ideal alloying element, as it is able to bind both with silver, and with silicon.

The team also ran the chip through an image processing task, programming the memristors to alter an image, in this case of MIT’s Killian Court, in several specific ways, including sharpening and blurring the original image. Again, their design produced the reprogrammed images more reliably than existing memristor designs.


Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.

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