June 20, 2024

Microsoft PC solves problems at the speed of light

The Microsoft Research Lab in Cambridge, UK, has built a new computer that can solve optimization problems at the speed of light:Analog looping machine” (Goal).

Unlike a typical binary computer, it uses different intensities of light to calculate the same place where the information is stored. In the future, these computers could exceed the speed of conventional computers by a factor of up to a hundred. The team is now computer testing optimization tasks from the banking sector. If the experiments are successful, AIM could pave the way for the use of optical computing in other specific mathematical problems.

The goal: Hundreds of times faster than conventional computers

Originally, the researchers hoped to use AIM as a tool to accelerate machine learning. However, they soon realized the new machine’s true potential: surpassing the speed and capacity of traditional binary computers, which count only in zeros and ones, when solving optimization problems. The new development interacts with two current trends: declining growth in computing power per dollar in digital chips, i.e. the expected cancellation of decades Moore’s Lawas well as overcoming the limitations of earlier special-purpose computers designed to solve optimization problems.

Instant messaging is a novelty analog An optical computer that uses photons and electrons to process continuous value data. Their architecture is very different from today’s digital computers, which use transistors to process binary data. The Research Lab team believes that advanced versions of AIM will outperform binary computers by a factor of 100 when it comes to solving these types of problems. It’s not a general-purpose computer, the research team says, but it’s very useful for speeding up certain mathematical use cases—linear and nonlinear algebra, for example—that are currently experiencing a bottleneck.

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Optimization Problems: New Methods for Effective Arithmetic Operations

Optimization problems arise in many of the most important areas of society, for example in banking, finance, healthcare, logistics, and manufacturing. Thus, the promising capabilities of the new computer led AIM to conclude a one-year research agreement with Barclays Bank. Together, the teams are examining whether AIM can be used to solve a real problem: transactions in the clearinghouses used by most banks. They number in the hundreds of thousands every day. As with most optimization problems, scaling often confuses binary computers.

The AIM team already had something to call it “game variable” From the parameter optimization problem posed by Barclays, the optical computer solved the challenges with 100% accuracy every time. A previous attempt at research that used a different technique to tackle the same problem only got it around fifty percent of the time. The Microsoft team is now working with Barclays to design a larger version of the problem with more data and variables. They hope to test it with an updated version of the AIM optical computer later this summer. “We figured that once we build it, we’ll figure out how to develop it.”explains Ant Rostron, Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and AIM Team Leader. “Now we have an important problem area that needs urgent attention and where our PC really shines.”

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