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Brain Chip

August 11, 2014

Improving computers by making them think more like humans.



Brain-like computer chips. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

When you look at a busy intersection, your brain identifies and tracks cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians all moving simultaneously in different directions. It’s a task that would be difficult for a massive supercomputer drawing kilowatts of power, but your brain does it using less energy than a dim lightbulb. Now IBM engineer Dharmendra Modha and his colleagues report in the journal Science on a new computer chip called True North that mimics the brain’s array of neurons, giving it massive computational power, but requiring very little energy.


The chip is literally a supercomputer the size of a postage stamp, weight of a feather, and power consumption of a hearing aid battery.


Modha says the chips could give computing devices the ability to sense, react to and even learn from events around them. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.