Human inner ear models for universal radio chip

The human ear is an amazingly effective receiver. The ear can pick up a wide range of frequencies, from the deepest rumble to a high-pitched whine. An MIT professor realized what a unique and perfect model for a radio chip that could function as a universal wireless device to pick up a wide range of electrical signals.

Professor Rahul Sarpeshkar, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and his graduate student, Soumyajit Mandal recreated the elements of the human ear, down to the hairs that line the cochlea using electronics. Transistors for the hairs, inductors for the fluids in the ear, and capacitors for the membranes. The resulting "RF cochlea chip" is just 1.5mm by 3mm and it picks up FM radio, Internet, cellphone and TV signals. It uses 100 times less power than previous analyzers and is faster than any other RF spectrum analyzer. The speed makes it desirable as a universal radio to selectively receive a broad range of frequencies.

Considering his background is creating voice synthesis chips, this is a natural. Will the RF chip hear what his speech chip says?

MIT via Fast Company