How to kill Intel by getting away from Binary

A US chipmaker thinks that the best way to give the microprocessing world a good kicking is to get away from that binary lark.

Lyric Semiconductor claims its new new processor circuitry, which dumps binary, can  calculate probabilities at a faster rate and at a fraction of the cost of x86 chips.

Lyric Semiconductor founder and CEO Ben Vigoda, said the old black and white world of binary was old hat and it is time to get into the glorious techni-colour universe of probabilities.

Talking to  eWEEK,  Vigoda said much of the software being used today does not want a yes/no answers, but rather the best guess from among any number of possibilities.

The problems is that digital processors are inefficient at doing such calculations and use shedloads of processing power, space and money.

Lyric Semiconductor wants to create a new processing environment that calculates such probabilities much more quickly and efficiently.

Lyric, an MIT-spinoff that is funded through DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has so far come up with LEC (Lyric Error Correction) for Flash memory, which alleviates the ECC bottleneck found in Flash memory.

But this is stage one of the cunning plan.  Vigoda is working out how to build a processor which can  handle multiple probability calculations at one time.  He does this by calculating numbers between 0 and 1.

As a result he thinks he can accomplish with a few transistors what traditionally would need to be accomplished with hundreds or thousands of transistors.

Lyric also is working on a general-purpose chip based on the company’s probability processing platform dubbed the The GP5, which will begin sampling in 2013.

This chip will be designed to calculate probabilities for everything from Web searches to genome sequencing, and will offer more than 1,000 times the performance of current systems based on x86 processors from the likes of Intel and AMD, Vigoda said.

Code for the GP5 will be written in Lyric’s own Probability Synthesizes to Bayesian Logic programming language, created to work with probability-based calculations. He is fairly certain that it will knock the socks off anything that the chip giants will come up with.