SK Hynix, Stanford develop chips

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SK Hynix, Stanford develop chips

SK Hynix, the nation’s largest chipmaker, inked an agreement Thursday with Stanford University to co-develop next-generation semiconductors that can imitate the cognitive processes of the human brain.

The collaborative research project is focused on developing a so-called neuromorphic chip, which can process data simultaneously just like a human brain, rather than in the serial order which most computers do now.

While current computing systems fulfill commands in serial order by delivering data from a semiconductor, such as a central processing unit, to a memory semiconductor such as a DRAM chip, a neuromorphic chip can allow for an entirely new data-processing system, the company said.

“A neuromorphic chip will be equipped with both logic operation as well as memory functions, and therefore available for multiple simultaneous logic and data processes in a manner similar to how a human brain responds to external stimulus,” the company said in a statement Thursday.

“Plenty of research results of the ferroelectric materials have been accumulated from an academic perspective, so the degree of understanding is deep enough to have bright prospects for joint research and development,” said Yoshio Nishi, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University.

Ferroelectric material, with its novel property of maintaining polarization even when voltage is not applied to the material, is one of the core elements of the neuromorphic chip.

Lam Research Corporation, an equipment supplier in the semiconductor industry, and Versum Materials, a materials provider, have also joined the research project to accelerate the development process.

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