APR 23, 2020 9:55 PM PDT

Device That Mimic Brain Signaling

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A decade ago, researchers hoped for a frontier of neuromorphic computing using a device known as ‘memristors’ that functions like real brain synapses. Now, researchers revealed what they always had hoped for-- a neuromorphic memristor or a "memory transistor" device.

Learn more about neuromorphic computing:

Researcher and co-author of the study at the University of Massachusetts, Jun Yao, adds: "This is the first time that a device can function at the same voltage level as the brain. People probably didn't even dare to hope that we could create a device that is as power-efficient as the biological counterparts in a brain, but now we have realistic evidence of ultra-low power computing capabilities. It's a concept breakthrough and we think it's going to cause a lot of exploration in electronics that work in the biological voltage regime."

Findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

“Today, a decade after early experiments, memristor voltage has been achieved in the range similar to conventional computer, but getting below that seemed improbable”, adds first author Tianda Fu, a Ph.D. candidate in electrical and computer engineering.

One of the biggest challenges in neuromorphic computing is to make it comparable to how the brain sends signals known as ‘action potentials’. The brain sends signals at around 80 mV while conventional computing operates at over 1 volt.

"This offers hope in the feasibility that one day this device can talk to actual neurons in biological systems,” adds Yao.

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
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