Startup claims a breakthrough in brain-like computing on chips

A small, Santa Fe, New Mexico-based company called Knowm claims it will soon begin commercializing a state-of-the-art technique for building computing chips that learn. Other companies, including HP HPQ and IBM IBM , have already invested in developing these so-called brain-based chips, but Knowm says it has just achieved a major technological breakthrough that it should be able to push into production hopefully within a few years. The basis for Knowm’s work is a piece of hardware called a memristor, which functions (warning: oversimplification coming) by mimicking synapses in the brain. Rather than committing certain information to a software program and traditional computing memory, memristors are able to “learn” by strengthening the electrical charge between two resistors (the “ristor” part of memristor) much like synapses strengthen connections between commonly used…


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