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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Human Brain-Like Computers May Soon Become a Reality

Chalcogenide Glasses

(Photo : opli.net) Samples of Chalcogenide glasses prepared in Southampton

Researchers from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton in the U.K. have demonstrated the potential use of optical fibers, specifically made up of special glasses called chalcogenides to replicate the neural networks and synapses of the human brain.

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According to a report, these optical fibers will enable next generation computers to function faster, allowing it also to learn and evolve.

"Since the dawn of the computer age, scientists have sought ways to mimic the behavior of the human brain, replacing neurons and our nervous system with electronic switches and memory." said Dan Hewak, co-author and professor at the ORC.

"Now instead of electrons, light and optical fibes also show promise in achieving a brain-like computer." Hewak continued.

"The cognitive functionality of central neurons underlies the adaptable nature and information processing capability of our brains."

According to the research, chalcogenide can be used to develop microfibers that consist of various broadband photo-induced effects. These effects enable the optical fibers to switch on and off.

The light switching can be manipulated to develop computers that have the ability to process large amounts of data in an energy-efficient manner.

"By going back to biological systems for inspiration and using mass-manufacturable photonic platforms, such as chalcogenide fibers, we can start to improve the speed and efficiency of conventional computing architectures, while introducing adaptability and learning into the next generation of devices." said Behrad Gholipour, co-author and one of the researchers.

The research was done in collaboration with researchers from the Centre for Disruptive Photonic Technologies (CDPT) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.

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