Monday, August 22, 2011

IBM’s thinking chip

This has been on the news the last couple of days:

Today, IBM researchers unveiled a new generation of experimental computer chips designed to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition. The technology could yield many orders of magnitude less power consumption and space than used in today’s computers.
To do this, IBM is combining principles from nanoscience, neuroscience and supercomputing as part of a multi-year cognitive computing initiative. The company and its university collaborators also announced they have been awarded approximately $21 million in new funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for Phase 2 of the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) project.
This is a major initiative to move beyond the von Neumann paradigm that has been ruling computer architecture for more than half a century,” said Dharmendra Modha, project leader for IBM Research.
 It’s obviously quite a paradigm shift in computer technology but haven’t I seen something similar somewhere ? Oh right…
Body of secrets: anatomy of the ultra-secret National Security Agency , p613
Eventually NSA may secretly achieve the ultimate in quickness, Compatibility, and efficiency—a computer with petaflop and higher speeds shrunk into a container about a liter in size, and powered by only about ten watts of power: the human brain.
Mission accomplished?

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