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From Intrinsic to Designed Computation

October 28, 2011

  • Date: Friday, October 28, 2011 
  • Time: 12:00 pm — 12:50 pm
  • Place: Centennial Engineering Center 1041

Christof Teuscher
Portland State University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

The computing disciplines face difficult challenges by further scaling down CMOS technology. One solution path is to use an innovative combination of novel devices, compute paradigms, and architectures to create new information processing technology. It is reasonable to expect that future devices will increasingly exhibit extreme physical variation, and thus have a partially or entirely unknown structure with limited functional control. Emerging devices are also expected to behave in time-dependent nonlinear ways, beyond a simple behavior. It is premature to say what computing model is the best match for such devices. To address this question, our research focuses on a design space exploration of building information processing technology with spatially extended, heterogeneous, disordered, dynamical, and probabilistic devices that we cannot fully control understand. In this talk I will present recent results on computing with such systems. We draw inspiration from the field of reservoir computing to obtain a “designed” computation from the “intrinsic” computing capabilities of the underlying device networks. We study the structural and functional influence of the underlying devices, their network, and the cost on the computing task performance and robustness. The goal is to find optima in the design space. The technological promise of harnessing intrinsic computation has enormous potential for cheaper, faster, more robust, and more energy-efficient information processing technology.


Bio: Christof Teuscher is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) with joint appointments in the Department of Computer Science and the Systems Science Graduate Program. He also holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor appointment in Computer Science at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Dr. Teuscher obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree in computer science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in 2000 and 2004 respectively. His main research focuses on emerging computing architectures and paradigms.