Skip to main content

Bee honey could be the unlikely key to unlocking the next era of computing

Neuromorphic computing that mimics the human brain is one step closer to reality as researchers from Washington State University have built a crucial circuit for this new type of computing using an unlikely pure substance.

Using bee-sourced honey, the researchers have built a proof-of-concept memory resistor or memristor. To accomplish this feat, they first turned the honey into a solid form and then held it between two metal electrodes in a similar way to how the brain’s synapses lay between pairs of neurons.

Following its creation, Washington State University researchers tested the device’s ability to quickly switch on and off at speeds ranging between 100 and 500 nanoseconds. The tests were successful and the researchers hope that their new memristor can help pave the way for biodegradable, sustainable and organic-based computing systems going forward.

In a press release announcing the discovery, associate professor of WSU’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, Feng Zhao provided further insight on honey’s potential in the creation of brain-like computer chips, saying:

“This is a very small device with a simple structure, but it has very similar functionalities to a human neuron. This means if we can integrate millions or billions of these honey memristors together, then they can be made into a neuromorphic system that functions much like a human brain.”

Neuromorphic computing

Conventional computer systems like those found in business computers and mobile workstations are based on the von Neumann architecture which involves an input such as a keyboard and mouse as well as an output like a monitor along with a CPU and RAM.

Link: The start of this link looks broken.echanisms from input to processing to memory to output takes a lot more power when compared to the human brain. For instance Fujitsu’s Fugaku supercomputer uses 28 million watts in order to run while the human brain uses only around 10 to 20 watts. This is why companies like Intel and IBM are working on neuromorphic chips that mimic how the human brain functions.

The human brain has over 100bn neurons with more than 1,000tn synapses or connections among them. As each neuron can both process and store data, the brain is much more efficient than a traditional computer.

At the same time, conventional computer chips are built using nonrenewable and toxic materials while neuromorphic chips, like the one created by researchers at Washington State University, can be made using biodegradable materials instead.

Going forward, Zhao’s team aims to shrink the size of its honey memristors from a microscale that is about the size of a human hair to a nanoscale which is about 1/1000 of a human hair. By doing so, the researchers will be able to bundle millions or even billions of honey memristors together to make a full neuromorphic computing system.



Source: TechRadar

Popular posts from this blog

Review: The Teracube 2e is a more sustainable phone that you can afford

It just got easier to be green. If you know me or read my work here at AC, you know that I feel strongly about a few things when it comes to smartphones and consumer tech, and those things are not necessarily what some of my colleagues or others in the tech-sphere care about. You can have your 10x optical zoom cameras, folding phones, and 50W wireless charging devices all day, but I'm more interested in affordable to mid-range devices that last longer than you'd expect and which are at least trying to do environmental and social good. Sounds great, but it seems that it's harder to find this combination of features in a phone than the ultra-premium specced-out devices we typically talk about here on this website. That's why I was excited when I had the chance to write this Teracube 2e review. Teracube is a relatively new smartphone OEM based out of Redmond, WA, and founder Sharad Mittal's stated goal is to change the "disposable nature of the consumer ele

Google's new Guest Mode is like incognito mode for Google Assistant

Your interactions with Google Assistant will not be saved when Guest Mode is turned on. What you need to know Google Assistant is getting a new Guest Mode for privacy-conscious users. When it's turned on, the virtual assistant will not save any of its interactions with you. Turning it on and off is as simple as a single voice command. Google this week announced a new Guest Mode for its virtual assistant that's designed with privacy-conscious folks in mind. A simple "Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode" will ensure that none of your interactions with Google Assistant are collected by the company and nor will they be used to 'personalize your experience' — often an indirect way of referring to targeted ads. When it's on, the Assistant will play a special chime to let you know. Smart displays with Assistant will also show a guest icon on the screen. And you can always check for yourself by saying, "Hey Google, is Guest Mode on?" Even with G

Spotify Q1 beats on sales of $2B with monthly active users up 31% to 286M

The coronavirus may be decimating some corners of the economy, but the impact on the digital music, as evidenced by the world’s biggest music streaming company, appears to be minimal. Today Spotify reported its earnings for Q1 with revenues of €1.848 billion ($2 billion at today’s rates) and an inching into a positive net income of $1 million. Monthly active users (not total subscribers) now stand at 286 million, with paid (premium) users at 130 million and ad-supported monthly active users at 163 million. Ad-supported users are growing at a slightly higher rate at the moment, at 32% versus 31%, Spotify said. Spotify beat  analysts’ forecasts on both sales — they had on average been expecting revenues of $1.86 billion — and EPS, which had been forecast to be -$0.49 but came in at -$0.20 on a diluted basis and $0.00 undiluted. The numbers underscore the positive signals we’ve had from the wider industry. More generally, we have seen a huge boost in streaming media services — includ

Adobe is giving students and teachers free access to Creative Cloud

Your university's IT admin will need to make an application for access. What you need to know Adobe is temporarily making Creative Cloud free for teachers and students. The offer is aimed at enabling them to continue being productive as they work and study from home. Students cannot individually avail the promo, however, as the application for access needs to be made by a university's IT admin. As universities around the world shut their campuses and organizations ask their employees to work from home, many tech companies are making their products available to educational institutes free for use. Google and Microsoft have both made their large-scale communication and videoconferencing tools free for everyone, and now Adobe is temporarily giving free Creative Cloud access to students and teachers. The subscription, which usually costs $79.49 per month, will give affected students and teachers access to the entire range of Adobe's applications, such as Photoshop