Friday, August 24, 2012

Digital computing through analog?

Robert McMillan of The Wired "Enterprise" blog writes that the Department of Defense through DARPA is funding a new program that "will investigate a brand-new way of doing computing without the digital processors that have come to define computing as we know it."

"The aim is to build computer chips that are a whole lot more power-efficient than today's processors - even if they make mistakes every now and then."

Daniel Hammerstrom, the DARPA program manager behind the program, "wants the UPSIDE chips to do computing in a whole different way. He's looking for an alternative to straight-up boolean logic, where the voltage in a chip's transistor represents a zero or a one. Hammerstrom wants chipmakers to build analog processors that can do probabilistic math without forcing transistors into an absolute one-or-zero state, a technique that burns energy."

The program is called UPSIDE - Unconventional Processing of Signals for Intelligent Data Exploitation. Read details here.

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