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Circuit design evolving in distributed digital world

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  • Ian Pitchford
    Circuit design evolving in distributed digital world 18:03 31 July 03 NewScientist.com news service A digital simulation of natural selection, taking place in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2003
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      Circuit design evolving in distributed digital world

      18:03 31 July 03
      NewScientist.com news service

      A digital simulation of natural selection, taking place in scores of
      internet-linked personal computers, is being used to evolve superior electronic
      circuits.

      The calculations used to improve circuit design would normally be
      performed on a single powerful computer or a large cluster of machines. But
      Miguel Garvie, a research student at the University of Sussex in the UK, has
      developed software that lets ordinary computer users contribute their spare
      processing power to create a virtual evolutionary environment for the project.

      Such "distributed computing" is already providing cheap but substantial
      computer power to the search for alien messages in radio signals from space and
      to the quest for the largest prime numbers.

      In the five days since the project was launched, Garvie says he has
      evolved circuits that outperform commercial designs on standard tests by 100
      per cent but are only 50 per cent larger.

      "It's gone as far as conventional circuits and beyond," he told New
      Scientist. "The plan is to go with bigger and bigger circuits, which is why I
      started the distributed project."

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      http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994012
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