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Project "NEUROTEC": Neuro-inspired Artificial Intelligence Technologies for the Electronics of the Future

Certain tasks are performed highly efficiently by the human brain and require about 10,000 times less energy than a conventional "von Neumann" computer. The recognition of patterns is an example of one such task. However, in other tasks, such as numerical calculations, the biological neural network is hopelessly inferior to computers in terms of both energy requirements and speed. These significant differences in performance when performing different tasks are related to fundamental differences in the structure of the human brain and that of von Neumann's computer architecture.

NEUROTECEnergy consumption of a classical computer and the human brain as a biological neural network in a comparison between numerical calculations and cognitive tasks.
Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich

A comparison of the energy consumption of conventional computers with that of the human brain shows the great potential of a future neuromorphic computer that makes use of the functionality of biological neural networks. The short-term goal of the two-year project "NEUROTEC - Neuro-inspired Technologies of Artificial Intelligence for the Electronics of the Future", which will start in November 2019, is to effectively advance the fundamentals for exploiting this potential. To this end, the existing scientific competencies of the two project partners, Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University, will be bundled in a unique way, and ground-breaking concepts for neuro-inspired artificial intelligence technologies will be developed.

At the end of the project, the research results should make it possible to initiate collaborative research projects with renowned industrial partners. The longer-term scientific goal is to establish an internationally visible German location for cutting-edge research in the field of "neuro-inspired technologies for the electronics of the future" at the heart of the Rhineland’s coalmining area.  The project is expected to receive federal funding within the framework of the “Sofortprogramm” for the Rhineland.

 Participating departments of the PGI: PGI-7, PGI-9, PGI-10