US technology giant IBM has announced development of a computer chip modeled after the architecture of the brain.
The chip hosts a million computational units called “neurons,” each connecting to 256 others, and over 5.4 billion transistors.
It, however, is the size of a postage stamp and consumes 70 milliwatts of power.
The architecture of the transistors on TrueNorth, as the device has been named, is modeled on neural networks found in the brain.
The chip is not yet commercially useful and programs need to be written from scratch to run on it.
The company has said, “There is a huge disparity between the human brain’s cognitive capability and ultra-low power consumption when compared to today’s computers.”
“To bridge the divide, IBM scientists created something that didn’t previously exist – an entirely new neuroscience-inspired scalable and efficient computer architecture that breaks path with the prevailing von Neumann architecture used almost universally since 1946.”
“IBM has broken new ground in the field of brain-inspired computers, in terms of a radically new architecture, unprecedented scale, unparalleled power/area/speed efficiency, boundless scalability, and innovative design techniques,” Dr. Dharmendra Modha, IBM fellow and the company’s chief scientist at the Brain-Inspired Computing division of IBM Research, has said.