As artificial intelligence has become increasingly sophisticated, it has inspired renewed efforts to develop computers whose physical architecture mimics the human brain. One approach, called reservoir computing, allows hardware devices to achieve the higher-dimension calculations required by emerging artificial intelligence. One new device highlights the potential of extremely small mechanical systems to achieve these calculations.
A group of researchers at the Université de Sherbrooke in Québec, Canada, reports the construction of the first reservoir computing device built with a microelectromechanical system (MEMS).
Published in the Journal of Applied Physics (“Reservoir computing with a single delay-coupled non-linear mechanical oscillator”), the neural network exploits the nonlinear dynamics of a microscale silicon beam to perform its calculations. The group’s work looks to create devices that can act simultaneously as a sensor and a computer using a fraction of the energy a normal computer would use.

Image Credit:    Guillaume Dion

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