New York Times, By ASHLEE VANCE, August 17, 2010
Lyric Semiconductor, a start-up that emerged from work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ... unveiled plans this week to build a chip that can compute likelihoods. Such technology may help figure out which book someone will want to buy on Amazon.com or help create a better gene-sequencing machine.
"We decided there are lots of probability problems out there that are so important they deserved their own hardware," said Ben Vigoda, the co-founder and chief executive at Lyric.
Most of Lyric's nearly $20 million in financing has come from the Department of Defense and what the company will only refer to as a three-letter government agency. The military interest revolves around Lyric's approach to determining the relationship between bits of information in a stream of communications and separating noise from useful data.
Over time, Lyric plans to step out from this military work and offer its wares to corporations working with large sets of data.
Mr. Vigoda pointed to companies like Amazon and Google as possible beneficiaries of Lyric's technology.
Also, from www.lyricsemiconductor.com/news.htm
With over a decade of development at MIT and at Lyric Semiconductor, Lyric's probability processing technology calculates in a completely new way, enabling orders-of-magnitude improvement in processor efficiency. Lyric Error Correction (LEC™) for flash memory, the first commercial application of probability processing, offers a 30X reduction in die size and a 12X improvement in power consumption all at higher throughput compared to today's digital solutions.
Lyric Semiconductor has developed an alternative to digital computing. The company is redesigning processing circuits from the ground up to natively process probabilities - from the gate circuits to the processor architecture to the programming language. As a result, many applications that today require a thousand conventional processors will soon run in just one Lyric processor, providing 1,000X efficiencies in cost, power, and size.