Illustrations showing the basic operation of NIST's artificial synapse, which could
connect processors and store memories in future neuromorphic computers operating
like the human brain. A synapse is a connection or switch between two brain cells.
NIST's artificial synapse is a tiny metal cylinder that processes incoming electrical
spikes to customize spiking output signals based on a tunable internal design.
Researchers apply current pulses to control the number of nanoclusters pointing in
the same direction, as depicted in the "disordered" versus "ordered" cartoons. This
design, in which different inputs alter the alignment and resulting output signals, is
inspired by how the brain operates.