Menu
Memory that learns could help tomorrow's intelligent computers

Memory that learns could help tomorrow's intelligent computers

Knowm hopes its new memristors will lead to new types of computers

As researchers try to build more complex computers that get closer to emulating the way the human brain works, one of the areas of focus is memory.

Existing chips, hard disks and tape drives are great at storing large amounts of data, but a new breed of memory chip called a memristor could go a step further: helping the artificial intelligence systems of tomorrow actually understand the data and make more use of it.

Memristors could help computers connect the dots to identify diseases or help self-driving cars recognize objects based on probabilities and associations. Memristors are best used in machine-learning models to make predictions based on patterns and trends culled from large stacks of information, said Alex Nugent, CEO of Knowm.

Knowm is a New Mexico-based start-up and one of the companies working on memristor technology.

Knowm's memristors are designed around human brains, in which a synapse that connects two neurons gets stronger the more often a signal is passed. Similarly, the learning and retention of information on Knowm memristor circuits are determined by data flow characteristics and the current.

Knowm doesn't yet have a fully functional memristor chip. But it has introduced prototype test kits for researchers and academics on which its memristor design can be emulated. Knowm's test kit will include a chip with analog and digital circuits, software packages and algorithms.

Knowm's current memristor is a "learning processor" that works alongside CPUs, GPUs and other processors, Nugent said.

The company is going up against some big competitors, including HP.

HP plans to use them in a new type of computer called The Machine. It believes memristors could potentially replace both storage and memory in computers and is partnering with SanDisk to make the components. SanDisk says memristors could be 1,000 times faster and durable than flash storage.

Nugent believes memristors will lead to new computers that are better at learning and extracting intelligence from data patterns. Machine-learning is possible on today's computers, but it is not efficient and draws a lot of power, Nugent said.

It could be many years until the first chips based on Knowm's architecture appear in commercial products. The startup is being funded through equity investment and government grant programs, and will receive more equity funding from an undisclosed partner in the coming months.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments