Posts Tagged ‘Hardware’

Posted: July 23, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Carbon, Bacteria, and Fish Balls: The Machines of the Future

Today, microprocessors are built with silicon. But tomorrow, they’ll be built with something else. This past week, with a paper published in the academic journal Nature Communications, researchers at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany and the Swedish research institute Acreo AB revealed a new means of building chips using graphene — a substance long hailed as the future of micro-electronics — and their work takes the material that much closer to fulfilling its potential. Graphene is essentially sheets of carbon measuring a single atom thick, and it can carry electric charges much faster than materials used in today’s chips. Its discovery won the Nobel Prize for two University of Manchester scientists, but we’re still a long way from seeing it in commercial processors. Though graphene is wonderfully adept at conducting electricity, it doesn’t work quite as well as a semiconductor — which is essential to building transistors — and it doesn’t easily connect to other parts of a chip. (via Carbon, Bacteria, and Fish Balls: The Machines of the Future | Wired Enterprise |

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Although the brain-computer metaphor has served cognitive psychology well, research in cognitive neuroscience has revealed many important differences between brains and computers. Appreciating these differences may be crucial to understanding the mechanisms of neural information processing, and ultimately for the creation of artificial intelligence. Below, I review the most important of these differences (and the consequences to cognitive psychology of failing to recognize them): similar ground is covered in this excellent (though lengthy) lecture.
Difference # 1: Brains are analogue; computers are digital
Difference # 2: The brain uses content-addressable memory
Difference # 3: The brain is a massively parallel machine; computers are modular and serial
Difference # 4: Processing speed is not fixed in the brain; there is no system clock
Difference # 5 – Short-term memory is not like RAM
Difference # 6: No hardware/software distinction can be made with respect to the brain or mind

continue reading this controversial yet important post here