Discovery of Nature's Transistor Inspires General-purpose Neural Processor

Business & Professional Services

Share Tweet

Discovery of Nature's Transistor Inspires General-purpose Neural Processor



Santa Fe, NM / / ACCESSWIRE / Jul 01, 2014 / Affiliated companies MANC R&D, KnowmTech and Xeiam are excited to announce the availability of the Knowm API to select development partners. After over a decade of research and three years of intense development under multiple Air Force and Navy Research Lab sponsored programs, this marks the official beginning of the application development phase for the world's first and currently only general-purpose adaptive neural processing unit based on Nature's transistor.

Nugent and Molter elaborate in their recently publish paper 'Thermodynamic-RAM Technology Stack': "At all scales of organization we see the same fractal built from the same building block: a simple structure formed of competing energy dissipation pathways. We call this building block `Nature's Transistor', as it appears to represent a foundational adaptive building block from which higher-order self-organized structures are built, much like the transistor is a building block for modern computing." 

Defining the individual levels of a technology stack allows for separate groups to specialize at one or more levels where their strengths and interests exist. Improvements at various levels can propagate throughout the whole technology ecosystem, from materials to markets, without any single participant having to bridge the whole stack. University partners Boise State and Rochester Institute of Technology are contributing their expertise in memristor fabrication, CMOS integration and circuit design and simulation, respectively.

"What we have done is try to bridge the considerable divide between low-level physics of memristive devices and application development" says inventor Alex Nugent. "We have been working on this problem for a long time now, and this is the first time there has been a clear path from devices to circuits to chips to applications. My experience as co-creator and advisor to the DARPA SyNAPSE program really made it clear that the missing conceptual piece was that the computing industry did not understand how to unite memory and processing. Well, now we do. It is called Thermodynamic Random Access Memory, a fundamentally new type of adaptive computing substrate. It is both memory and processing at the same time, and it solves practical machine learning problems."

The seeds for Knowm technology began in 2001 when inventor Alex Nugent contemplated the physics of neural computation and realized that a new device element, what would later become known as the memristor, was needed to robustly solve the challenge of adaptive learning electronics. KnowmTech LLC was founded in 2002 as a patent holding company for Knowm technology. M. Alexander Nugent Consulting (MANC) was formed in 2008 after Nugent and Todd Hylton launched DARPA's SyNAPSE and Physical Intelligence programs. Starting in 2011, MANChas been funded through various AFRL and NAVY programs to develop and commercialize Knowm technologies.Xeiam LLC was formed in 2010 as a joint partnership between Tim Molter and Nugent to develop the requisite software components for near-term applications.

Contact at

Contact:, [email protected], 505-314-1300