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Category: Hardware

It’s PSBL (‘possible’) with Probabilistic Chip

Written on August 18, 2010 by Adam Eve

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A new chip, created by startup Lyric Semiconductor, promises to shrink flash memory and provide new methods for spam filtering or other processes. It utilizes "probability processing" to solve certain problems that can benefit from determining the probability of zero or one.

According to Wong, anything that goes into memory and solid state drives will need a probabilistic type of correcting errors. Meaning all NAND-based will require a more advanced signal processing in the future. But aside from the flash memory, the has wider applications to some computing problems. Computers recognizes data in bits (1,0) with nothing in between. Based on those binary digits, the processor will perform many of its operations serially.

However, answer for hurdles like spam filtering, or involves making a guess of what is the best fit. In short, it relies on the that it’s a right decision. Consider online shopping, for instance. A site will recommend other items a consumer may like, relying on the products he or she purchased before. The core of the site’s recommendation engine is based on the statistical analysis of . According to Vigoda, digital processors today can do these kind of calculations. However, it can be inefficient and will require large quantity of processing power. That’s why Lyric designed a chip that will work on processing probabilities. Instead of assembly language or C++, the software for this chip is written in Synthesizes to Bayesian Logic or (pronounced as ‘possible’). Though starting with an error correction chip, Lyric hopes that they can create a “general purpose probability processor.” This, eventually, can be used to different applications such as web searches and genome sequencing.

Vigoda is not betting that programmers will learn PSBL, though. Instead, will program the chip according to their consumer’s needs. In the next 12 months, they are planning to bring the chips into a large-scale production. is definitely looking for a huge market.

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