Neuromorphic computing widely applicable, Sandia researchers show

With the insertion of a little math, Sandia National Laboratories researchers have shown that neuromorphic computers, which synthetically replicate the brain’s logic, can solve more complex problems than those posed by artificial intelligence and may even earn a place in high-performance computing.

Particle Distribution Random Walk Video
A random walk diffusion model based on data from Sandia National Laboratories algorithms running on an Intel Loihi neuromorphic platform. Video courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories. Members of the media can download the video here (4.3 MB).

The findings, detailed in a recent article in the journal Nature Electronics, show that neuromorphic simulations using the statistical method called random walks can track X-rays passing through bone and soft tissue, disease passing through a population, information flowing through social networks and the movements of financial markets, among other uses, said Sandia theoretical neuroscientist and lead researcher James Bradley Aimone.

“Basically, we have shown that neuromorphic hardware can yield computational advantages relevant to many applications, not just artificial intelligence to which it’s obviously kin,” said Aimone. “Newly discovered applications range from radiation transport and molecular simulations to computational finance, biology modeling and particle physics.”

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