IBM’s Synapse marshals the power of the human brain in a computer
I thought this was cool all our hals could use this !
Here's an article about IBM's Synapse which researchers say is like having a Super Computer in the palm of your hand. They say it's no longer a dream but a reality.
IBM has helped create an electronic “brain chip” after a decade of research. If all goes as planned, it could be one of the greatest inventions of the computing era, and this is not an understatement.
The IBM Synapse chip is like a modern supercomputer in the space of a postage stamp, outperforming today’s fastest microprocessors because it processes data in a more efficient way — similar to the way that the brain works. It weighs just a few grams, and something as small as a hearing-aid battery could power it. It could find use in a variety of mobile, cloud, and distributed-sensor applications.
“I’m holding in my hand a new machine for a new era,” said Dharmendra Modha, principal investigator on a project that was created by the IBM Almaden Research Center and a bunch of other research institutions. “It’s the culmination of over a decade of our research. Ten years ago, many believed this was impossible. The impossible has become possible, and the possible will very soon be real applications.”
The ambition is huge. IBM’s so-called cognitive computing chips could one day simulate and emulate the brain’s ability to sense, perceive, interact, and recognize — all tasks that humans can currently do much better than computers can.
Modha asked for permission to “geek out” as he explained the features of the chip. It has a million neurons (brain cells), 256 million synapses, and 4,096 neurosynaptic cores, arranged in a 64 x 64 array. It has 400 million bits of local on-chip memory. The cores can be connected via a network on a chip.
“You can tile these chips seamlessly, and it becomes twice the chip,” Modha said. “We have already tiled 16 of them in a 4 x 4 array, to create a 16 million neuron, 4 billion synapse core.”
“This chip is capable of 46 billion SOPs per watt,” Modha said. “It’s a supercomputer the size of a postage stamp, the weight of a feather, and the power consumption of a hearing-aid battery.”
We truly live in some exciting times and in the next 20 to 30 years things could look very different. With the advances in Science and Technology we should see even more of the transition from a type 0 to a type 1 civilization Dr. Kaku talked about if a disease or a major war doesn't wipe us out first.