Scientists have made a crucial step towards unlocking the "holy grail" of computing - microchips that mimic the way the human brain works to store and process information. A research team, including Professor C. David Wright from the University of Exeter, have made a pioneering breakthrough by developing photonic computer chips
- that use light rather than electricity - that imitate the way the brain's synapses operate. Professor Harish Bhaskaran from Oxford University and who led the team said "The development of computers that work more like the human brain has been a holy grail of scientists for decades. Via a network of neurons and synapses the brain can process and store vast amounts of information simultaneously, using only a few tens of Watts of power. Conventional computers can't come close to this sort of performance."