Jeremy Herold

Researchers have created a neuron-like computer component

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The future has arrived. The experimental realization of a memtransistor will allow computers to think more like people do

 

Future computers will be able to process and remember information at the same time, just like human brains, thanks to an experiment out of the Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering. Researchers there paired a multi-terminal hybrid memristor and transistor together, creating a functional memtransistor.

The memtransistor performs memory and information processing functions at the same time. That ability means that it acts similar to a neuron.

Current computers have to process memory and information processes separately.

Memristors are two-terminal passive circuit elements made for use in RAM. Essentially, they are an electrical component that limits or regulates the flow of electrical current in a circuit. It also remembers the amount of charge that has previously flowed through it. They’re non-volatile, which is important because that means they retain memory without power. Unfortunately, they can only control a single voltage channel. By making that memristor into a three-terminal device, as in the memtransistor, it overcomes the memristors limitations and allows it to be useable for complex circuits and systems.

The benefits of these memtransistors may not only be for faster and more advanced computing, but may also promote advances in artificial neural networks and brain-computer interfaces.

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