A new brain simulating artificial synaptic device
Medikoe HealthTech Expert
80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru Sep 28, 2018
Researchers at the Intelligent Devices and Systems Research Group at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) have successfully developed a synaptic device that simulates the human brain.
What is a synapse?
In our nervous system, a synapse is a structure that permits a neuron to send an electrical or chemical signal to another neuron. A synapse is where axons and dendrites meet so that neurons can send or receive signals. There are hundreds of trillions of synapses in the human brain. The brain’s chemical synapse system can handle high-level parallel arithmetic with a very little amount of energy, which is why there is extensive research going on to replicate it.
Dr. Myoung-Jae Lee’s research team developed a highly reliable synaptic device. This was achieved by structuring tantalum oxide in two layers of Ta2O5-x and TaO2-x and then controlling its surface. The resistance of tantalum oxide gradually increases or decreases depending on the strength of the electric signals, which made it suitable for the purpose.
One another major breakthrough was that the research team successfully implemented an experiment that realized synapse plasticity. A synapse plasticity is the process of creating, storing, or deleting memories like a long-term strengthening or memory and long-term suppression of memory. This is achieved by adjusting the strength of the synapse connection between the neurons.
The device can be used for ultra-low power devices or circuits and can process huge amounts of big data. It can be applied to for further development of AI, machine learning, and deep learning. The device can also find its use in the development of brain-mimicking semiconductors.