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Thursday, January 22, 2015


 Memcomputers: Faster, More Energy-Efficient Devices That Work Like a Human Brain

New types of electronic components, closer to neurons than to transistors, are leading to tremendously efficient and faster “memcomputing”

Adam Simpson

When we wrote the words you are now reading, we were typing on the best computers that technology now offers: machines that are terribly wasteful of energy and slow when tackling important scientific calculations. And they are typical of every computer that exists today, from the smartphone in your hand to the multimillion-dollar supercomputers humming along in the world's most advanced computing facilities.

In Brief

  • Modern computers all use a unit that does calculations and a separate memory unit that holds programs and data. Shuttling information back and forth takes lots of energy and time.
  • A new idea, memcomputing works in a way that is similar to the neurons in the human brain, which form computing and memory storage units that are physically the same.
  • This could mean a giant leap in computer speed and efficiency, as well as new computing architectures, so scientists are trying to learn the best ways to use different memcomputing components.

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