By Andy Choi
IBM has been working on a computer chip that can mimic the human brain. The team of scientists from IBM, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the top four US Universities has been working on a microchip that emulates the processes of the human brain. The experimental computer chip has been named SyNAPSE.
Dharmendra Modha is the chief investigator of the DARPA project and a researcher at IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. Mr Modha said that this was the seed for a new generation of computers, using a combination of supercomputing, neuroscience, and nanotechnology.
The four Universities that are part of the project include Cornell, the University of Wisconsin, Columbia University, and University of California at Merced. The SyNAPSE chip is said to process information like the human brain does and will be one day used to do many things that humans do. From basic things like the ability to perceive surroundings, to something more complex like interact with others.
The SyNAPSE project was first announced in 2008 and is only a small fraction of the way to its ultimate goal. The team has made good progress as they have a brain-like chip with 256 neurons, 262,144 synapses and 256 axons in existence. The next phase involves building a computer system based upon the SyNAPSE chip.
The goal is to create a computer that not only analyzes complex information from multiple senses at once, but also dynamically rewires itself as it interacts with the environment, learning from what happens around it said Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat.
The final phase will involve developing a chip with 10 million neurons and work on simulation and design of a fake brain with 100 million neurons using a multi-chip. This would power the chip with ten times the ability of a regular human brain.