Biologically inspired, ultra-broadband chip could enable "cognitive" radio
Inspired by nature, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers have designed and built a fast, ultra-broadband, low-power radio chip that could enable wireless devices capable of receiving cell phone, Internet, radio and television signals.
Associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, Rahul Sarpeshkar (left), and graduate student, Soumyajit Mandal, designed the chip to mimic the inner ear, or cochlea. The chip is faster than any human-designed radio-frequency spectrum analyzer and also operates at much lower power. "The cochlea quickly gets the big picture of what's going on in the sound spectrum," said Sarpeshkar. "The more I started to look at the ear, the more I realized it's like a super radio with 3,500 parallel channels."