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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News

ERC Synergy Grant - SWIMS project: Transforming IoT Sensory Systems for a Sustainable Future

26 October 2023

The European Research Council has announced today that the project SWIMS, Stochastic Spiking Wireless Multimodal Sensory Systems, will be funded with 13.5M Euros under the Synergy program. SWIMS is revolutionizing the landscape of smart wireless multimodal sensory systems. By embracing bio-inspired design principles, SWIMS is reshaping hardware to achieve exceptional energy efficiency, particularly in event detection and communication.

Prof. Elisabetta Chicca
Prof. Elisabetta Chicca

This project is pivotal for the sustainable deployment of billions of Internet of Things (IoT) nodes, promoting smart economy and societal growth with minimal environmental impact and energy consumption.

The collaborative effort of four leading researchers, UG professor Elisabetta Chicca (CogniGron & Zernike Institute) in collaboration with profs. Fettweis (TU Dresden), Flandre (UC Louvain), and Ionescu (EPFL), has given rise to an innovative end-to-end stochastic analog spiking* neuromorphic concept [*The concept of spiking neural networks mimics the operations of brains by integrating the memory (i.e. the synapse in the brain) and processing units (i.e. the neurons in a brain) in proximity] for SWIMS nodes. It addresses challenges in sensor spiking signal generation, processing, and communication, drawing inspiration from nature.

Key Advancements in SWIMS:

Advanced Sensor Arrays: Novel spiking sensor arrays covering infrared, ultraviolet, acoustic, and electromagnetic detections.

Efficient Neural Networks: Tiny spiking neural networks for noise-resilient signal processing on-chip.

Spiking Emitters: Event-driven wireless transmission through optimized spike modulation and encoding.

Biologically Inspired Modeling: Incorporation of stochastic effects in system design with recurrent neural networks.

SWIMS is pioneering energy-efficient IoT sensory systems, reducing energy consumption over 100 times compared to existing solutions. It's the future of sensory system design, facilitating sustainable development.

About SWIMS Project

SWIMS (Smart Wireless Multimodal Sensory Systems) is reshaping sensory systems for the IoT era. It's a leap toward sustainable smart economies and societies.

About prof. Elisabetta Chicca

Prof. Chicca has a background in Physics and Neuroscience. In the SWIMS project she will combine her roots in theoretical understanding of neural systems and her engineering skills to establish a strong link between the technologies developed in SWIMS and key principles of neural computation. Her track record in insect inspired recurrent spiking networks is setting a solid basis for the development of novel neural architectures specifically designed for the goals of SWIMS.

Consortium lead and partners

Prof. Gerhard P. Fettweis, TU Dresden (TUD), Germany (Coordinator)

Prof. Denis Flandre, UCLouvain (UCL), Belgium

Prof. Adrian M. Ionescu, EPFL, Switzerland

Last modified:26 October 2023 5.26 p.m.

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