Army scientists win patent for advanced neural chip


Ronald E. Meyers delves into quantum physics research at the U. S. Army Research Laboratory. Meyers, fellow researcher Keith Deacon and Gert Cauwenberghs, a professor of bioengineering and biology at the University of California at San Diego earned a patent for a futuristic neural computer chip.

Ronald E. Meyers delves into quantum physics research at the U. S. Army Research Laboratory. Meyers, fellow researcher Keith Deacon and Gert Cauwenberghs, a professor of bioengineering and biology at the University of California at San Diego earned a patent for a futuristic neural computer chip. (Photo illustration by David McNally)

ADELPHI, Md. — Two Army scientists and a university professor earned a patent for the forerunner of a powerful quantum neural dynamics computer chip. The device uses nonstandard mathematics to accomplish analog problem solving at high speed.

“The patent covers different ways to make computer chips,” said Army scientist and principal investigator Ronald E. Meyers. “These computer chips can represent biological and physical processes.”

Meyers and his colleague, Army mathematician Keith Deacon, joined forces with Dr. Gert Cauwenberghs, a professor of bioengineering and biology and co-director of the Institute for Neural Computation at the University of California at San Diego.

“This is as a first step toward large-scale non-Lipschitz intelligent information processing systems,” Cauwenberghs said.

Cauwenberghs worked with Meyers and Deacon to map the mathematics onto an analog “continuous-time neural architecture.” He also designed and tested the integrated circuit implementing the architecture.

“Experimental data from our silicon integrated circuit demonstrated the elements of terminal repulsion and attraction in neural dynamics and synaptic coupling,” he said.

In other words, by using different mathematics, the scientists potentially removed a limit on how fast functions can change — clearing the way for ultra high-speed computing.

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