As the global chip shortage has been on the agenda for years, concerns about it have only grown. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has also had a negative impact on the situation. No good developments on the chip Industry? Well it seems so.
Washington State University engineers have shown that honey could be used to produce eco friendly, brain-like computer chips, acc to a study published in the Journal of Physics D.
Inspired by human synapses, the researchers processed honey into a solid form & jammed it between 2 metal electrodes to produce a patterned design called a memristor. Honey memristors able-to mimic human neurons & turning on and off very quickly while maintaining information.
“Honey doesn’t spoil,” said Feng Zhao, associate professor at the WSU School of Engineering & Computer Science and corresponding author of the study. “It has a very low-moisture concentration, so bacteria cannot survive in it. This means that these computer chips will-be stable & reliable for a very long time.
Currently, the size of the honey memristor is equivalent to a human hair. But the research team aims to go from microscale to nanoscale and make memristors 1/1000 smaller in size.
A solution for electronic waste
It is good news that the use of honey has made neuromorphic systems more organic, in addition to their speed & energy efficiency compared to current computer systems.
Unlike today’s non-renewable chips, these honey-based computer chips are very easy to dispose of thanks to their water-dissolving nature. Its biodegradability promises a solution for e-waste, which threatens the environment with more than 22 million tons of waste yearly.
It seems that honey memristors, with their renewable & biodegradable structure, could be the solution needed to reduce e-waste. “Because of these special properties, honey is very useful for creating renewable & biodegradable neuromorphic systems,” Zhao said.