Scientists are following nature’s own designs in developing ionic microprocessors, which could prove particularly energy-efficient compared with traditional semiconductor-based processors.
As published in Advanced Materials, a team of researchers with Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), in collaboration with biotech startup DNA Script, have developed an ionic circuit comprising hundreds of ionic transistors. They have even performed a core process of neural net computing within it — wetware is becoming less and less of a sci-fi buzz word.
Ionic processor design aims to bring learnings from biology’s processing systems — particularly brains — to create processors that make use of electrochemistry instead of electricity to perform calculations. Research paints ionic processors as a likely technology to be developed and scaled towards the future, where their energy-efficient designs could be valuable for certain deployment scenarios.
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