New printable thin films could help power Internet of Things

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One of the most recent developments involving IoT is the designing of new films, which will help neuromorphic computers. Scientists, including Indian origin ones, have drawn inspiration from the human brain to create these. The films are printable, and will power IoT, which is in need of components as well as chips which may succeed in handling large data quantities.

Future of Neuromorphic Computers

By 2020, the number of internet sensors used for industrial purposes will reach 50 billion. Every autonomous device, be it smart-watches, cleaning robots, or self-driven cars, will be able to produce data that can be measured in gigabytes, while an airbus can have more than ten thousand sensors present in a single wing. Transistors used currently in computer chips should be turned to miniature to achieve the size of just a couple of nanometres, and huge amounts of energy will be required for th analyses and storage of unprecedented data amounts. Sayani Majumdar and her colleagues from Finland’s Aalto University were behind the designing and fabrication of the neuromorphic computers’ main building blocks.

Design and Technology

According to Majumdar, the design and technology of such computing is undergoing advancements at a rate that is more rapid than the rival revolution, i.e. quantum computing. So, the idea is achieving great energy-efficiency as seen in a biological brain; neural network is mimicked for the processing of information via electric impulses. According to a recent study, researchers displayed the process of fabrication of some new junction breed involving ferroelectric tunnels. This means that ferroelectric films, which hardly have the thickness of a few nanometers, are put between electrodes.

Futuristic Abilities

These have capabilities that are beyond the existing technologies. This is good news for energy-efficiency and stability of neuromorphic computing. Low voltages, usually less that even 5 volts, are enough for the junctions to work in. They also function on different electrode materials, even silicon, which is utilised in the chips of most electronic devices. They can even keep data for over ten years, with no power. Plus, their manufacturing process requires nothing more than normal conditions.

Prevention of Metal Waste

According to Majumbar, hydro-carbon organic substances are used for the junctions, for the reduction of toxic metal waste by electronics. They can even make large numbers of junctions in a single day at room temperature, with no suffering caused from water or oxygen. They are currently striving for the integration of millions of mersisters of tunnel junctions, into one network within an area of a square centimeter.