Nanotechnology's road to artificial brains

Via NanoWerk:

(Nanowerk Spotlight) If you think that building an artificial human brain is science fiction, you are probably right – for now. But don't think for a moment that researchers are not working hard on laying the foundations for what is called neuromorphic engineering – a new interdisciplinary discipline that includes nanotechnologies and whose goal is to design artificial neural systems with physical architectures similar to biological nervous systems.
One of the key components of any neuromorphic effort is the design of artificial synapses. The human brain contains vastly more synapses than neurons – by a factor of about 10,000 – and therefore it is necessary to develop a nanoscale, low power, synapse-like device if scientists want to scale neuromorphic circuits towards the human brain level.

Toch wel erg interessant onderzoek om de werking van de hersenen te imiteren in toekomstige computersytemen. De belangrijke functies van een synapse kunnen worden overgenomen door een hybride transistor gebaseerd op nano-schaal.

Bron: Scientists use nanotechnology to try building computers modeled after the brain.

Maar nu blijkt dat ook de zgn "memristor" de werking van biologische synapsen kan emuleren.

A memristor is a two-terminal electronic device whose conductance can be precisely modulated by charge or flux through it. Here we experimentally demonstrate a nanoscale silicon-based memristor device and show that a hybrid system composed of complementary metal−oxide semiconductor neurons and memristor synapses can support important synaptic functions such as spike timing dependent plasticity. Using memristors as synapses in neuromorphic circuits can potentially offer both high connectivity and high density required for efficient computing.)

Bron: Nanoscale Memristor Device as Synapse in Neuromorphic System.

These findings show that it is now possible to build a brain-like computer using electronic components, namely, transistors and memristors. The key is to realize the similarity between synapses and memristors.