DARPA wants to develop similar computing
Computers that are used to seeing are digital: process and store data in zeros and ones. However, the Agency Defense Advanced Research (DARPA) under the Department of Defense of the United States, wants to redefine the system.
Why change the zeros and ones that have worked well so far? The key is energy. DARPA is working on a project called UPSIDE (Unconventional Processing of Signals for Intelligent Data Exploitation), which seeks to create computer chips that are much more energy efficient than what exists today, even though they may make mistakes from time to time.
According to DARPA, the computers of today (and using fearsome robots , spies and other probes) are reaching a limit, not processing, but energy. Although Moore’s Law, which states that the maximum processing power doubles every 18 months, is fulfilled, the batteries have not been able to keep up .
UPSIDE chips built by seeking an alternative to the binary logic – similar processors that can do mathematical probability, without forcing the transistor to a state of “zero” or “one” absolute, something that makes you lose a lot of energy. The problem is that the results are not as accurate, but this type of system could be used in operations where results need not absolutely accurate.
The below is an image captured with a prototype of Rice University. The first image was processed normally. The middle has a permissible error of 0.54% and the right has an error rate of 7.54% allowed. According to the university, the required right of 1/15 of the energy used to process the first.
This is not a completely new idea. In the 1950s, computers were similar, however, were overshadowed by digital processors, reaching much higher capacities. In recent years, the analog system began to revive, considering the potential for energy savings.
The program is UPSIDE duration of 54 months in two phases. In the first, it will create chips using probabilistic techniques, and the second mobile systems will be built to capture images using these chips, allowing cameras in theory create much more efficient in terms of energy consumption.
– Darpa Has Seen the Future of Computing … And It’s Analog (Wired)
– Can save probabilistic computing Moore’s law? (ExtremeTech)