New Kind of Computer "Never Crashes"
February 15, 2013 2:26 PM
comment(s) - last by
System could be useful for mission critical applications, such as combat robotics
Professor Peter Bentley
University College of London
and his colleague
aren't impressed with most everyday computers, which aren't very fault tolerant and can only multitask by flipping their cores between various sequential instruction streams in a program.
He describes in
, "Even when it feels like your computer is running all your software at the same time, it is just pretending to do that, flicking its attention very quickly between each program. Nature isn't like that. Its processes are distributed, decentralised and probabilistic. And they are fault tolerant, able to heal themselves. A computer should be able to do that."
So the pair set out to make a new hardware and a new operating system, capable of handling tasks differently from most current machines, which even if "parallel" deal with instructions sequentially.
The new machine has instruction set pairs that tell what to do when a certain set of data is encountered. The instructions-data pairs are then sent to multiple "systems", which are chosen at random to produce results. Each system has its own redundant stack of instructions, so if one gets corrupted, others can finish up the work. And each system has its own memory and storage; so "crashes" due to memory/storage errors are eliminated.
Comments Prof. Bentley, "The pool of systems interact in parallel, and randomly, and the result of a computation simply emerges from those interactions."
The results will be presented at an April conference in Singapore.
The team is currently working on coding the machine so that it can reprogram its own instructions to respond to changes in the environment. That self-learning, combined with the redundant, pseudorandom nature of the system would make it quite a bit more
similar to a human brain
than a traditional computer.
Potential applications for such a system include military robotics, swarm robotics, and mission critical servers. For example, if an unmanned aerial vehicle sustained damage or was hacked, it might be able to reprogram itself and escape errors thanks to the redundancy, allowing it to fly home.
The computer is somewhat similar to
so-called "probabilistic" chip designs
, which are being researched at other universities.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
2/16/2013 8:05:22 PM
When I was in college our main lab was OS/2. And the place I worked at right out of college, a major insurance company, was all OS/2.
The problem was that many things had to be run in Windows emulation, even back then. OS/2 was excellent in many ways, but it was too late, and they'd ceded the market to Windows.
If IBM hadn't let Microsoft do Windows first, OS/2 would be the one ruling the world right now.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
New Automated Process Dissects Inner Mechanics of Neurons in the Brain
May 9, 2012, 7:30 AM
Probabilistic Chips Could Revolutionize CPU Industry
February 9, 2009, 8:40 AM
Amazon to Launch "Kindle Worlds" for Fan Fiction Writers
May 22, 2013, 12:00 PM
EA Dev: Nintendo is "the Walking Dead"; Wii U is "Crap"
May 20, 2013, 11:27 AM
Sony Officially Announces Gran Turismo 6
May 16, 2013, 10:24 AM
Windows 8.1 Will Be Free; Microsoft Holds Onto Struggling ARM Variant
May 14, 2013, 2:57 PM
Report: 59 Million Windows 8 Devices Have Been Activated Since Launch
May 13, 2013, 3:33 PM
Quick Note: Windows 8.1 Public Preview Coming in June
May 7, 2013, 6:32 PM
Most Popular Articles
High School Student Creates Storage Device that Can Charge in 20 Seconds
May 20, 2013, 6:51 AM
Apples Tries to Use Decade-Old Patents to Ban Samsung Galaxy S IV
May 22, 2013, 3:00 PM
NASA Awards $125,000 Grant for 3D Printed Food on Long-Term Space Travels
May 21, 2013, 1:32 PM
Microsoft Announces Voice-Controlled "Xbox One"
May 21, 2013, 12:55 AM
Cure For Baldness Could Be on Store Shelves within Two Years
May 22, 2013, 8:29 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Lumosity: Does it Work?
May 22, 2013, 8:20 PM
Quick Note: Sony "Teases" PS4 Ahead of Xbox Reveal in New Video
May 20, 2013, 12:33 PM
Nokia Introduces Instagram-Like App of Its Own to Help Lumia Sales
May 20, 2013, 7:10 AM
Parents of Pre-Teen Drivers Commonly Practice Distracted Driving Says Study
May 9, 2013, 7:16 AM
Apple's iOS 7 Running Into Internal Delays Due to Massive Overhaul
May 1, 2013, 4:26 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information