In the EU project NeurONN, launched in early 2020, a research team from Fraunhofer EMFT is working with six European partners on a new neuromorphic approach based on energy-efficient elements and architectures. In the proposed neurologically inspired computer architecture, information is encrypted in the phase of coupled oscillating elements that are interconnected to form a neural network. Just like the brain, the two key components in neuromorphic computing are called neuron and synapse - they replicate the distributed computing and memory units. The neurons used in the project are novel elements based on vanadium dioxide, which can be 250 times more efficient than state-of-the-art digital oscillators based on CMOS.
The work package of the Fraunhofer EMFT focuses particularly on the synapses: Within the framework of NeurONN, the scientists are developing 2D memristors on a nanoscale based on innovative 2D nanomaterials. The tiny devices are expected to be 330 times more efficient in terms of operating speed, lifetime and energy consumption than currently used technologies.