Imagine the computing power of a supercomputer locked in your smartphone

Imagine the computing power of supercomputers, miniaturized enough to fit in your smartphone. MIT researchers have taken the first step in this direction.

This step is to create a memristor modeled on the action of neurons in the human brain. Scientists at MIT have created a chip on which they have managed to fit tens of thousands of artificial synapses, communicating with each other in the same way that information is transmitted in our brain.

Memristor from MIT

In an official press release, the research team compares the size of the new chip to a piece of confetti. Interestingly, creating such a compact system would be impossible without using a few metallurgical tricks. More specifically, the negative electrode was traditionally made of silicon, while the positive combination of copper and silver. The use of copper as a kind of bridge between silicon and silver allowed scientists to more accurately control the ions that travel through the thin channels of the copper layer.

This solution translates into the computing power of the system and its intelligence. To test the capabilities of the new system, scientists compared it with other neuromorphic chips in a task that involved remembering and then recreating a picture of Captain America's shield. The results published in the journal Nature clearly show that the new chip is much better than traditional solutions.

What is all this for?

Stronger, miniature systems may turn out to be the next step in the evolution of the so-called internet of things. Take, for example, such intelligent cars, which according to manufacturers' announcements, will process information collected by all kinds of sensors and systems monitoring the situation on the road in the cloud.

In short, the central unit controlling the autonomous car is too weak to make all decisions by itself, which is why it is supported by sending information sensors collected to the cloud. Therefore, among others the further development of the internet of things is largely dependent on network bandwidth and the introduction of the 5G standard.

In the future, however, systems similar to the one created in MIT can cope without any assistance from the cloud. Unless, of course, such chips will ever go into mass production. It may well turn out that the standard based on cloud computing brings more benefits and instead of focusing on creating ever stronger, independent systems, manufacturers will focus on centralized cloud computing and instant communication between it and all types of peripherals.

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Imagine the computing power of a supercomputer locked in your smartphone

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