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Spatially-Separated Chirality Inspired Networks

Project description

Harnessing topological materials in a more ‘brain-like’ neural network architecture

Although the brain looks like a mass of spaghetti, it is made up of approximately 86 billion nerve cells forming some 100 trillion interconnections. Further, these interconnections are highly ordered, such that different brain regions subserve different functions. In the current physical neural network architectures resulting from neuromorphic engineering, achieving this kind of interconnectivity has been a barrier. The EU-funded SCHINES project is addressing this challenge, bringing together world-class researchers to deliver a new type of architecture with scalable interconnectivity leveraging the exotic properties of topological materials.


Creating a brain-inspired technology through neuromorphic engineering could achieve or even surpass the extraordinary ability of the brain to grasp the world, which operates at an extremely low power consumption yet with the most complex interconnectivity known to mankind. The main goal of SCHINES is to set a clear direction to solve one of the biggest technological challenges that hinders this revolution: in existing physical neural network architectures, the desired interconnectivity can hardly be achieved. We will fabricate and design devices to demonstrate radically improved signal routing using topological metals. The design principle is simple: the environment of chiral electrons, electrons with spin locked to its momentum, can be engineered to create rich electronic lensing effect, analogous yet broader to light in-media propagation. Positive and negative effective indices of refraction for electrons, and lossless signal crossing can be engineered while maintaining, selecting or filtering the intrinsic topological protection of chirality, a degree of freedom that can be used for computation. These design principles are the basis for our device goal with scalable interconnectivity and are highly transferrable: they apply to strained materials, magnetic domains and heterostructures. This ambitious goal is realistic due to the interdisciplinary breadth of the SCHINES consortium: it is built out of established and emerging leaders called to shape the future of the field, joined in a public-private collaboration. They comprise an expertise that bridges the gap between the most abstract quantum field theory calculations with microscopic modelling with sample fabrication and measurement finalizing in device assembly

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Net EU contribution
€ 950 458,00
Saeumerstrasse 4
8803 Rueschlikon

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 0,75

Participants (2)