Chip accurately mimics retinal functions

A group of scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have crafted a silicon chip that could go a long way toward reducing blindness due to retinal dysfunction.

The chip has light sensors and circuitry that approximate the neural functions of human retinas. It is a tiny but not too tiny thing, measuring 3.5 x 3.3 millimeters. It gets its power and its functionality from a total of 5,760 phototransistors that transmit light and other data to a series of 3,600 transistors that do the heavy lifting of turning all that data into something like what the human eye might see if using healthy retinas.

The photos show what a person using this kind of chip might see. It’s certainly not perfect, but it is much better than nothing at all.


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