IFISC (CSIC-UIB) advances in the design of computer systems based on simple devices

Mirasso, Fischer y SorianoThe journal Nature Communications has recently published a paper by researchers at the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC, CSIC-UIB). The research is framed in the European project PHOCUS. It involved researchers Claudio Mirasso, Ingo Fischer and Michael C. Soriano and is a step in the design of computer systems based on simple devices.The most perfect computer is our brain. The brain speed and efficiency lies in how the brain processes information through the neural network. Only in calculations and mathematical processes other machines overcome humans. When it comes to recognizing a face blurred or a voice, the human brain takes a split second, while for a computer, even the most advanced, it is still a very difficult task. So, to imitate the brain becomes a must for developing new and more advanced computer systems. In this context the European project PHOCUS (2010-2012) is coordinated by the IFISC (CSIC-UIB). There, physicists, neuroscientists and engineers have concluded that optical systems (lasers coupled together) are objects which by their characteristics (reaction speed, versatility and low consumption) could mimic some functions that the neural network performs so efficiently.

While initially the theoretical proposed that a set of coupled lasers could mimic the behavior of neurons when receiving sensorial stimula, therefore emulating brain information processing, IFISC researchers have shown how a single element (electronic oscillator or laser) with some memory (feedback from its own output) is able to perform complex tasks with great precision, such as voice recognition. This is a drastic reduction in required hardware and offers the prospect of high speed computing with minimal elements and low power consumption.


Bibliographic reference:

L. Appeltant, M. C. Soriano, G. Van der Sande, J. Danckaert, S. Massar, J. Dambre, B. Schrauwen, C. R. Mirasso, i I. Fischer, «Information processing using a single dynamical node as complex system», Nature Communications, 2:468, doi:10.1038/ncomms1476 (2011)

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