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Scientists have unveiled a new integrated photonic hardware that can store and process information in ways similar to that of the human brain.

A computer circuit board in the shape of a brain

A team of European scientists from Germany and the UK has revealed a pioneering new way to create optical neural networks that ‘teach themselves’ to recognise patterns in image data.

Traditional computers are built on the von Neumann architecture, with separate memory and processor units operating one command at a time.

Compared to the brain – where processing and memory functions are co-located and a massively parallel approach is used – this can be very inefficient.

To develop computers that work more like the brain, hardware devices that operate in a similar way to brain neurons and synapses are needed, and such devices should be combined into large-scale networks capable of real-world tasks.

Read more (University of Oxford website)

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