Instead of designing a circuit, the team of researchers created a gold nanoparticle network, and applied electrical signals at the edges. The network configured itself into useful electronic circuits, with 16 different logic gates, in what is a radical new way to create electronics.
The proof of concept only has limited computing power. But the researchers behind the project believe that the concept can be scaled up. One interesting thing this way of generating chips is that the circuits resemble neural networks like the human brain, and these kind of energy-efficient chips could have many uses in artificial intelligence and other applications with an emphasis on parallel processing.