Folks over at the university of Exeter have demonstrated what they call the memflector – an optical equivalent of the memristor. Built using advanced semiconductor materials capable of phase-change, the team has constructed a processor that can computing and store data simultaneously. This is quite unlike today’s computer’s, which have separate components for memory and processing, but is supposedly very similar to what our brains, or biological computers do.
The team is calling their advancements a large step forward in computing, potentially leading to much faster, cheaper, and more power efficient computers.The is also big step toward achieving another millstone in the filed- ‘brain-like’ computing. The memflector-based processor demonstrated synaptic-like functionality, with each phase-change cell mimicking the “integrate on the fire” mechanism of neuron. The processor is also capable of reliably executing the four basic arithmetic functions.
Hopes are high for the new technology and the team’s next step is down the biological alloy, aiming the develop better brain-like computers by making their still basic processor much more complex with interconnected systems of phase change cells that can ‘learn’ simple tasks using both memory and computing such as pattern and object recognition.