Monday, August 22, 2011

IBM Processor mimics human brain

Last week, IBM unveiled two processors whose architecture is directly inspired by the brain. They boarded the "neurons" which are comprised of nodes "synapses" programmable integrating both a memory and a computer center. Eventually, engineers hope that this platform called SYNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics) will draw conclusions and to reprogram its own.

The statement said the first chips came out of the factories and are being tested. The first results seem to still be conclusive enough for the U.S. Agency for Defence Research (DARPA) invest 21 million dollars in SYNAPSE (approx. 15 million), making its contribution to 41 million dollars in total since the project started three years ago.

To achieve his ends, IBM initially simulate the brain of a cat. Embedded systems these chips are designated by IBM as "cognitive computers." They are fundamentally different models of today are derived from the von Neumann architecture, named after the famous mathematician who designed the computer storing programs in memory.

These chips are supposed to "learn from their experiences," that is to say, find data relationships and to make assumptions, mimicking the activities of the human brain. The information comes from many external sensors. One can imagine and a weather system that can better predict natural disasters to come.

The advantage of such a system according to IBM is that it is capable of handling a large number of information while consuming very little power. In this case, each chip contains 256 neurons. The first has 65 536 synapses, against 262 144 synapses for the second. These highly parallel architectures are both etched 45 nm.

In the long term, IBM expects to integrate tens of billions of neurons and hundreds of trillions of synapses in a housing with a volume of less than two liters. Dharmendra Modha, one of the scientists leading the project says that this should happen within seven to ten years. He also stated that the goal of IBM is not to copy the brain, but to be inspired.

IBM is not alone in working on such projects. British researchers have recently announced together a million ARM CPU to simulate the human brain.

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