Employees of the unconventional computing lab of the University of the West of England have presented one of the most original motherboards in the world, which uses mushroom cultures as part of the computing system. And yes, it really works!
As Tomshardware reports, this motherboard uses mycelium, which is the vegetative body of a fungus. Fungi can "communicate" with each other by transmitting electrical signals through the mycelium, as a previous study has shown. Mycelium, as scientists have found, is able not only to send and receive electrical signals but also to "remember" data, much like the brain, where habits are formed. All these properties of mycelium have led scientists to the idea that it can be used as a transmitter, too.
That's exactly what the scientists did under the leadership of Professor Andrew Adamatzky. The resulting system, of course, cannot compete with ordinary computers equipped with powerful processors in terms of performance. However, "mushroom" computers have their advantages; in particular, due to their self-generating property, they exhibit high fault tolerance and better reconfiguration as they can grow and evolve. In addition, "mushroom" devices consume the least amount of energy.
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