Professionals are on an endless spree to improvise our computers so that we get better experience and recently with the discovery of Memtransistor, they moved a step closer to developing computer that can perform like human brain. In 1930s, the blueprint for the modern computer was made, and here we are, owning systems that are able to process several instructions every second. The replication of human brain is long way to go, but this achievement should not go unnoticed. Before we proceed further, let’s know about this amazing thing which has become a buzzword since its release.
What Is a Memtransistor?
The researchers have tried and tested this device which is formed by combining the capabilities of transistor and memory resistor. This basically works like human brain as it’s competent enough to remember and process things at the same time. The study of developing computers that have brain-like working algorithm is known as neuromorphic computing and introduction of Memtransistor falls under this. If we look closely at this amazing device, then it is “a two-terminal non-volatile memory device based on resistance switching.”
Memtransistor is named after ‘memristor and transistor’ as it combines the features of these two. To be specific, the memristor remembers the voltage applied to it, but it can only control one voltage channel. What the researchers have done is transformed the two-terminal memristor or memory resistor to three-terminal device which eventually became much more complex than expected. Developing such device has not only taken us closer to the human brain like computers but also to energy efficiency. When one single device will be able to perform two task we would not need two separate devices to do the same!
What Was The Response Of Critics?
There is no denying the fact that everyone was amazed, but they were not happy with the comparison made. According to them it wasn’t acting like a neuron because it could only transmit a signal from one artificial neuron to another. This is actually nothing when compared to a human brain because that is capable of making tens of thousands of such connections without hassles.
To this, the team of researchers at Northwestern University which was led by Mark Hersam has claimed, “our device design accommodates additional terminals, which mimic the multiple synapses in neurons.” They have also conveyed their next move which is making smaller and faster Memtransistor which will consume much less power. Furthermore, they’ll work on designing non-volatile memory and advanced neuromorphic architectures.
Why Are We Obsessed with Neuromorphic Computing?
Believe it or not, all the major algorithms have been developed by using the trick and tactics borrowed by our brain. Human brain can do several things which we are not even close to cloning. If we can develop an artificial brain, then our research will no longer be time consuming. We don’t need computers to just play poker or automate our factories, we need them as companions to fight the existing & emerging problems and mitigate them. This will only be possible when we are working to develop artificial brain without fearing the machines taking over!
The teamwork has certainly yielded an extraordinary result and it has been published in journal named Nature. It is expected that this technology will scale up and get involved in our day to day life by making it smarter. But that is going to take time! A lot of it! We have just reached the first step, but by replication of the research we can move further. This device has not yet found any commercial usage but will prove to be crucial for the researchers. One thing has been made clear, that is, if preparing such a device is possible then we’ll be able to develop a human brain-like device soon. Will that be a boon or bane? Whatever be the consequences, our life is definitely going to get transformed soon fellas!