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Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have found a simple, yet highly versatile way to generate "chaotic signals" with various features. The technique consists of interconnecting three ring oscillators, effectively making them compete against each other, while controlling their respective strengths and their linkages. The resulting device is rather small and efficient, thus suitable for emerging applications such as realizing wireless networks of sensors.
The ability to recreate the signals found in natural systems, such as those in brains, swarms, and the weather, is useful to understand the underlying principles. These signals can be very complex, as in the extreme case of the so-called chaotic signals. "Chaos" does not mean randomness; it represents a very complicated type of order. Minute changes in the parameters of a chaotic system can result in greatly different behaviors. Chaotic signals are difficult to predict, but they are present in many scenarios.
Generation - Signals - Features - Task - Cases
Unfortunately, the generation of chaotic signals with desired features is a difficult task. Creating them digitally is in some cases too power-intensive, and approaches based on analog circuits are required. Now, researchers in Japan, Italy and Poland propose a new approach for creating integrated circuits that can generate chaotic signals. This research was the result of a collaboration between scientists from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), in part funded by the World Research Hub Initiative, the Universities of Catania and Trento, Italy, and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow, Poland.
The research team started from the idea that cycles that have periods set by prime numbers cannot develop a fixed phase relationship. Surprisingly, this principle seems to have emerged in the evolution of several species of cicadas, whose life cycles follow prime numbers of years to avoid synchronizing with each other and with predators. For example, attempts to tie together oscillators with periods set...
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