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SUNY Poly researcher awarded $500K grant

SUNY Poly researcher awarded $500K grant

National Science Foundation money will support development of faster computer architecture structured like human brain
SUNY Poly researcher awarded $500K grant
Suny Polytechnic Institute professor of nanobioscience Nate Cady, right, works with students in his laboratory.
Photographer: Photo provided

ALBANY — A SUNY Polytechnic Institute researcher has received a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant to help develop a better architecture for computer memory.

The research by Nate Cady, a professor of nanobioscience, will also provide hands-on experience to students as the computing/memory structures are developed, the college said in a news release Thursday. The materials for the project will be developed, demonstrated and then integrated with traditional chips produced at SUNY-Poly’s state-of-the-art fabrication facilities.

Cady does most of his research at SUNY Poly’s Albany campus, though he also works at the U.S. Air Force laboratory in Rome, near the college’s Marcy campus.

The project seeks to replace the typical model of modern computing, in which memory and processing functions are separate, with an integrated system that is faster, more energy-efficient and structured more like the synapses of the human brain.

The research will enable the design of a scalable computing infrastructure that uses nanoscale non-volatile memory devices for both storage and computation. 

Current personal computing architecture, with separate processor and memory, leads to a cap on data speed. Combining storage and computation on the same device is expected to pave the way for an up to 1,0000-fold increase in computing speed by crossing wires to form memory cells at every intersection.

“I am proud to congratulate Professor Cady on this National Science Foundation award, which is focused on enabling advanced computing capabilities, and notably, has important implications for advances in artificial intelligence,” SUNY Poly interim President Grace Wang said in the news release. “The NSF’s selection of Dr. Cady’s research for this funding exemplifies the quality and impact of SUNY Poly’s research where our faculty and students leverage our world-class high-tech resources, explore new frontiers, and develop critical technologies for our society.”

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