Biomimetics for universal radio

snailishResearchers at MIT have developed a software radio chip based on the operations of the cochlea (the seashell bit of the human ear):

The RF cochlea, embedded on a silicon chip measuring 1.5 mm by 3 mm, works as an analog spectrum analyzer, detecting the composition of any electromagnetic waves within its perception range. Electromagnetic waves travel through electronic inductors and capacitors (analogous to the biological cochlea’s fluid and membrane). Electronic transistors play the role of the cochlea’s hair cells.

Software radios are all kinds of awesome, and it’s interesting how biomimetics is being used in more and more contexts – no need to reinvent the wheel.

[via Technovelgy][image from POSITiv on flickr]

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