Neurons and nano systems: the next computer?
Computers: What Are the limits to growth? Computers are one of the new wonders of the word. A key factor for this success story is in the brain, or one could even say the heart, of the the machine itself: the microprocessor. At this point in time the underlying technology for computers is moving fast toward hard to overcome barriers; scaling down the size of basic components to nanoscale decreases reliability, scaling up the number of basic units leeds to unacceptable energy consumption, and upscaling of design and production complexity leads to a steep growth in costs. In this talk I present alternative ways of computation, in form of biologically inspired designs and nanosystems. Living neural networks solve several of the barriers we need to overcome to develop computers further; reliable behavior from unreliable parts, low energy consumption and a self-organizing adaptive design process. However, biological system have a disadvantage: they die eventually. As such, if we could transfer favorable properties of neural networks to an artificial system, we may revolutionize what computers are and what they can do.