The new nanometric device to reproduce brain synapses

The new nanometric device to reproduce brain synapses
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Reproducing brain synapses to emulate the human brain is essential for developing artificial intelligence, and can be done using a nanometric device.

A new study from Politecnico di Torino shows how to artificially reproduce the activity of brain synapses that regulate the learning processes with a nanometric device.

Reproducing brain synapses

Brain synapses are the connections between neurons that regulate the learning processes in our brain.

The new study shows that a single nanowire with a diameter thousands of times smaller than a single hair can be used to emulate the activity of brain synapses.

How the nanometric device works

A crystalline nanowire takes the ‘memristor’, the electronic device able to artificially reproduce the functions of brain synapses.

It is a crystalline nanowire that takes the “memristor”, the electronic device able to artificially reproduce the functions of biological synapses, to a more performing level. Thanks to the use of nanotechnologies, which allow the manipulation of matter at the atomic level, it was for the first time possible to combine into one single device the synaptic functions that were individually emulated through specific devices. For this reason, the nanowire allows an extreme miniaturisation of the “memristor”, significantly reducing the complexity and energy consumption of the electronic circuits necessary for the implementation of learning algorithms.

The study, titled, “Self-limited single nanowire systems combining all-in-one memristive and neuromorphic functionalities”, has been published in Nature Communications.

Carlo Ricciardi, professor of the Applied Science and Technology Department of the Politecnico di Torino and one of the study’s authors, said: “The nanowire memristor represents a model system for the study of physical and electrochemical phenomena that govern biological synapses at the nanoscale. The work is the result of the collaboration between our research team and the RWTH University of Aachen in Germany, supported by INRiM, the National Institute of Metrological Research, and IIT, the Italian Institute of Technology.”

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