Neuromorphic computing

Submitted by iherna13 on July 5, 2017 - 1:39pm

Abstract: Modern computation is based on the Turing-von Neumann (TvN) architecture.  Revolutionary developments in the past decades in hardware (principally CMOS technology) and software (such as machine-learning), has fueled the ever-increasing capabilities of modern computational machines. It is however agreed that the enhanced computational capabilities will soon (within the next 5-10 years) slow down considerably due to a variety of issues, which are connected probably to the foundation of the TvN type computing. On the other hand, nature has evolved a computational machine (the “brain”) which has substantial advantages over conventional silicon based computers.

 With extensive input from the community, the US Department of Energy convened a group of experts, which developed a report to answer the following basic question:

“Can brain-like (“neuromorphic”) computing devices based on new material concepts and systems be developed to dramatically outperform conventional CMOS based technology?

 In this talk, I will compare the performance and properties of conventional TvN computers and biological computational machines, and will describe at very high-level different approaches proposed to answer the above-mentioned challenge. It is particularly exciting that condensed matter/materials physics will clearly have an important role to play in this area.

I thank the Department of Energy (DOE), Basic Energy Sciences for the opportunity to co-chair a roundtable discussion resulting in the report, “Neuromorphic Computing: From Materials to Systems Architecture” and the US Department of Defense for a Vannevar Bush Fellowship.


Prof. Ivan K. Schuller, the director of the Center for Advanced Nanoscience (CAN) at the University of California-San Diego, is a Solid State Physicist.  He is winner of major awards such as the Lawrence Award from the US Department of Energy, and several awards from the American Physical Society, the Materials Research Society and the International Union of Materials Research Societies. He has also won several EMMY and other television awards for his science related movies. Prof. Schuller received his Licenciado from the University of Chile, PhD from Northwestern University and an Honoris Causa Doctorate from the Spanish Universidad Complutense the largest European University. He is a member of the Chilean, Spanish, Belgian and Colombian Academies of Science. His more than 500 papers and 20 patents have been dedicated to many aspects of solid state and materials physics in the field of Nano and Meso science. His extensive artistic activities have spanned the award winning production and writing of plays, movies, YouTube videos and acting in a variety of venues.

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Ivan Schuller
University of California - San Diego
Ralph Chamberlin