Edge-chips could render some networks useless

Hardware processing should replace a device’s dependency on networks, some scientists say. Making machines more efficient, saving power, and resilience is behind the reasoning.

“Devices like drones depend on a constant Wi-Fi signal. If the Wi-Fi stops, the drone crashes,” an article about researchers at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, says.

But if you make a device independent of any linking, it could become more resilient, the researchers say. Plus, the more processing work one can do at the source — in other words on the machine — the more energy you’ll save because you won’t have to come up with power to communicate.

“You could put 5G and 6G everywhere and assume that you have a reliable internet connection all the time, or you could address the problem with hardware processing, which is what we’re doing,” says Louis Piper, associate professor of physics and director of materials science and engineering at the university, in the article.

The Binghamton researchers, along with researchers at Georgia Tech, are working on developing a kind of neuristor circuit that will allow all device processing to take place at the chip level — meaning there’ll be no network load or indeed any requirement to communicate using a network at all. Neuristor circuits are brain-copying computer chips.

“The idea is we want to have these chips that can do all the functioning in the chip, rather than messages back and forth with some sort of large server,” Piper says.

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