Jun 18, 2012Science and Technology
Researchers simulate brain hardware
The brain functions very differently from our current computational technologies; neuron linkages are much more complex, and information is sent in spikes of very small voltages rather than a continuous varying current. Researchers from Intel's Circuit Research Laboratory recently created circuits that are constructed to process information much more like neurons in the brain using memristors (resistance-based memory devices) to store information and "lateral spin valves" (tiny magnets that can switch orientation depending on the spin of the electrons passing through them) to act as synapses. Today, computers can easily simulate processes that occur in the brain, but these computations are many orders of magnitude less efficient than brain processes, prohibiting any large-scale research. This new processor technology will greatly lower the power necessary to perform brain-like processes.
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