Modern computers, from supercomputers to the smartphone in your pocket, all use a computing unit that does calculation and a separate memory unit that holds programs. Shuttling information back and forth between these two places takes lots of energy and time. A new idea, memcomputing, relies on components that works much more like the human brain, where the computing and storing units—neurons—are physically the same. This could mean a giant leap forward in computer speed and efficiency, and scientists are starting to experiment with memcomputing components to learn the best ways to use them. Massimiliano Di Ventra, a professor in the department of physics at the University of California, San Diego, and co-author of "Just Add Memory" in the February issue of Scientific American, explains how he envisions building a truly brainlike computer in this video.
Building New Computers That Function Like Brains [Video]
A computer scientist explains new electronic components that could create giant leaps forward in computer speed and energy efficiency
This article was originally published with the title "Just Add Memory" in Scientific American 312, 2, (February 2015)