Center for Automata Processing

The University of Virginia and Micron Technology, Inc. have founded the Center for Automata Processing to catalyze the growth of an ecosystem around a new computing technology. Micron's Automata Processor, the first hardware implementation of automata computing, is poised to dramatically accelerate solutions to certain “Big Data” problems.  The Center is a virtual collaboration of universities, companies and Government Agencies initiated at the University of Virginia that leverages the expertise of academic and industrial researchers to advance the field of automata computing. The Center’s objectives are to develop innovative technologies and applications that address industry, government and societal needs, and to train future data scientists and engineers in this groundbreaking approach to computing.

What is Automata Computing?

An automaton is a “self operating machine,” consisting of a set of connected computing elements that are configurable to perform specific tasks.  Automata computing has been studied theoretically for many years, but until recently it had not been implemented in hardware.  In contrast to the traditional von Neumann computing architecture, which separates processor from memory, automata computing elements combine processor and memory, thus eliminating the “von Neumann bottleneck” that plagues many “Big Data” problems. Micron’s Automata Processor, the first hardware implementation of automata computing, is a massively parallel programmable device consisting of nearly 50,000 automata computing elements capable of performing very high-speed, comprehensive search and analysis of complex, unstructured data streams.

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