Electronic system functions like the brain, claims research team

Researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have shown how to assemble and configure electronic systems made from neuromorphic chips so they function in a way similar to the brain.

According to the team, neuromorphic neurons were combined into networks that implemented neural processing modules equivalent to finite state machines. They claim behaviour can be formulated as a finite state machine and thus transferred to hardware. "The network connectivity patterns closely resemble structures that are also found in mammalian brains," says Professor Giacomo Indiveri, from the Institute of Neuroinformatics. "Our goal is to emulate the properties of biological neurons and synapses directly on microchips," he added. Potential applications for the technology include combining the chips with sensory neuromorphic components, such as an artificial cochlea or retina, to create complex cognitive systems that interact with their surroundings in real time. "Our results are pivotal for the development of new brain inspired technologies," Prof Indiveri concluded.