It implies that the data could now be processed in the same manner where it is stored, resulting in much faster and thinner mobile computers and devices. The novel computing circuit was introduced by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in association with Germany’s RWTH Aachen University and Forschunszentrum, one of the biggest interdisciplinary research units in the Europe.
It is created utilizing the state-of-the-art memory chips known as Redox based resistive switching random access memory. Introduced by the global chipmakers like Panasonic and SanDisk, this sort of chip is one of the fastest memory modules that will soon be available on commercial basis.
However, rather than storing data, NTU Assistant Lecturer Anupam Chattopadhyay in association with Lecturer Rainer Waser from RWTH Aachen University and Dr. Vika Rana from Forschungszentrum Juelich revealed how ReRAM can also be employed to process information.
Current equipment and computers have to transmit information from the memory storage to the processor unit for computation, while the novel NTU circuit saves energy and time by eradicating such data transfers.
It can also augment the speed of current processors identified in mobile devices and laptops by at least two times or more. By allowing the memory chip to perform computing tasks, space can be saves by eradicating the processor, resulting in smaller, lighter, and thinner electronics. Such discovery could also result in a novel design possibility for wearable technology and consumer electronics.
Presently, all computer processors in the market are utilizing the binary system that composes two states – 0 and 1. However, the prototype ReRAM circuit created by Assistant Lecturer Chattopadhyay and his associates processes information in four states instead of two. For instance, it can store and process information as 0, 1, 2, or 3, which is known as Ternary number system. Since ReRAM uses distinct electronic resistance to store data, it could be possible to store the information in an even high number of states, hence increasing computing tasks beyond present limitations. Assistant Lecturer Chattopadhyay who belongs to the NTU’s School of Computer Engineering and Science, said in current computer systems, all data has to be translated into a single string of ones and zeroes before it can be processed.
Lecturer Waser says, “ReRAM is a versatile and non-volatile memory concept. Such devices are energy-efficient, effective and can be scaled to exceedingly small dimensions. Utilizing them not just for data storage but also for computation could open an entirely novel route towards an efficient use of energy in the information technology.”
The amazing properties of ReRAM like its enduring storage capacity, low energy use and potential to be produced at the nanoscale level have drawn numerous semiconductor companies to invest in researching this lucrative technology. This research group is now looking to engage industry partners to leverage this vital advance ReRAM based ternary computing.
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