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UC Merced Part of Team Developing New Computer Chip

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, August 18, 2011

A team led by IBM, including researchers from UC Merced, has created prototype chips and completed two phases of the multi-year project.  The team announced Thursday it has received a $21 million grant from the Defense Department to continue the project. 

Chris Kello is one of the UC Merced scientists involved in the cognitive computing initiative called Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE).

KELLO: "We're basically taking inspiration from nervous systems, and how neural networks work inside of nervous systems.  And we're trying to mimic that in a hardware device."

The chips would use far less power and take up less space than the ones in today's computers. Kello says they would also be able to process vast amounts of data in parallel.

KELLO: "Much like our perceptual systems can listen in a crowded party and you can pick out individual voices, you can pick out individual words, and especially if your name is said, for example, something called the cocktail party effect."

UC Merced's main role in the project is to test prototype systems in virtual environments.

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