Current supercomputers are able to accomplish incredible calculations and precise estimates, yet they can use a lot of energy and produce heat in the process. Now, researchers may have found a way to ease the power consumption of the super computers and change the way supercomputers are built. Scientist
Now, researchers may have found a way to ease the power consumption of the supercomputers and change the way supercomputers are built. Scientists believe that the next generation of computers could be powered by the same substance that provides energy to all cells in the human body, called Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short.
A biological supercomputer prototype has been created by scientists at the Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at McGill. The prototype consists of an energy efficient model supercomputer able to process information and work at the same speed rate as a current supercomputer. Although the results of the study are still on the analysis and testing phase, the biological model computer shows a promising journey.
According to researchers, the bio-supercomputer would not only be smaller and lighter than current supercomputers, but it would also require less energy. The newly created bio-computer is the result of a study led by Professor Dan Nicolau from the Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at McGill. The idea for the innovation in computer manufacturing began more than 10 years ago as Dan Nicolau worked alongside his son Dan Jr. in the first developments of the study.
Science Fiction no more
The next generation computers would use a combination of geometrical modeling and engineering expertise on a nano scale, said Professor Nicolau. Despite being in it early stages of development, the next generation supercomputers or bio-computers, could mean a breakthrough in the technological field.
“We’ve managed to create a very complex network in a very small area,” said Professor Dan Nicolau, lead author of the study. “This started as a back of an envelope idea, after too much rum I think, with drawings of what looked like small worms exploring mazes.”
The study led by Prof. Nicolau can also provide the current generation with a more sustainable computing as the biocomputer’s structure won’t heat up as normal supercomputers do. The computer’s circuit created by researchers at McGill resembles a road map of an intricate city viewed from above. In the case of the bio-computer, short proteins will travel around the circuit in a controlled way, or as researchers call them, biological agents.
This would differ from current circuits where electrons are propelled by an electrical charge within the computer’s microchip. The substance known as ATP is the main character in the biological supercomputers as it powers the device as well as powers the human body and any other form of life. Researchers still have plenty of work ahead of them, as new obstacles will surely rise as the bio-computer continues its development.