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IBM Puts Brain On-a-Chip

PORTLAND, Ore. — The most brain-like computer chip to date has been produced by IBM for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA's) Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program, in collaboration with Cornell Tech and iniLabs, Ltd.

“When the SyNAPSE project was launched six years ago, many people thought it was impossible,” Dharmendra Modha, an IBM fellow and chief scientist of brain-inspired computing at IBM Research, tells EE Times. “But today we have proven that it is possible, and we are working toward making it a commercial reality in the future.”

The IBM SyNAPSE chip has 1 million artificial neurons (brain-like cells) and 256 million synapses (storage cells), all powered by 4,096 neurosynaptic cores integrating memory, computation, communication, and operating in an asynchronous event-driven, parallel, and fault-tolerant manner.

(Please see the IBM graphic below for more information and then click on EE Times for the full story.)

(Source: IBM)

(Source: IBM)

For the full story, see EBN sister site EE Times.

— R. Colin Johnson is the Advanced Technology Editor of EE Times.

16 comments on “IBM Puts Brain On-a-Chip

  1. Susan Fourtané
    August 12, 2014

    IBM is always doing great research work with wonderful results. Watson being one of the greatest achievements. This new chip that could be use for vision assistance for the blind is another proof of the great things IBM is contributing to society. 

    -Susan

  2. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 12, 2014

    Will this chip be a self learning machine like the way a brain learns from the experiences and responses from the surroundings ?

    If it has to be programmed to do a specific function, then it is going to be a very complex task with teh current programming methods. New programming environmnet will be erquired to develop software for such a complex chip.

  3. Daniel
    August 12, 2014

    “IBM is always doing great research work with wonderful results. Watson being one of the greatest achievements. This new chip that could be use for vision assistance for the blind is another proof of the great things IBM is contributing to society. “

    Susan, you are right. Many latest innovations in computing side are from IBM research labs. Why it's limiting only to blind assistance. Since it's like a brain, I think it can add neuro logic thinking also.

  4. Daniel
    August 12, 2014

    “If it has to be programmed to do a specific function, then it is going to be a very complex task with teh current programming methods. New programming environmnet will be erquired to develop software for such a complex chip.”

    Prabhakar, I think programming and executing single tasks may be much easier than having with multiple tasks and fuzzy logics.

  5. FLYINGSCOT
    August 12, 2014

    It is truly mind boggling to consider the horsepower required on a chip to emulate a small portion of the brain's normal function.  The brain is a amazing machine.

  6. FLYINGSCOT
    August 12, 2014

    It is truly mind boggling to consider the horsepower required on a chip to emulate a small portion of the brain's normal function.  The brain is a amazing machine.

  7. FLYINGSCOT
    August 12, 2014

    It is truly mind boggling to consider the horsepower required on a chip to emulate a small portion of the brain's normal function.  The brain is a amazing machine.

  8. FLYINGSCOT
    August 12, 2014

    It is truly mind boggling to consider the horsepower required on a chip to emulate a small portion of the brain's normal function.  The brain is a amazing machine.

  9. FLYINGSCOT
    August 12, 2014

    It is truly mind boggling to consider the horsepower required on a chip to emulate a small portion of the brain's normal function.  The brain is a amazing machine.

  10. FLYINGSCOT
    August 12, 2014

    It is truly mind boggling to consider the horsepower required on a chip to emulate a small portion of the brain's normal function.  The brain is a amazing machine.

  11. FLYINGSCOT
    August 12, 2014

    The brain is an amazing thing when one considers what it takes to emulate it in silicon.

  12. Daniel
    August 13, 2014

    “It is truly mind boggling to consider the horsepower required on a chip to emulate a small portion of the brain's normal function.  The brain is a amazing machine.”

    Flyingscot, why you repeated the same comment 06 times; any significance in that.

  13. SunitaT
    August 13, 2014

    Since we are talking about IBM Research, we should be given more information on the kind of job these neurosynaptic chips would enable us to do. We can already think super cool things like cyborgs and mind reading robots, but we really must ask ourselves the question if this chip can be used for treating patients of Alzheimer's and other brain diseases.

  14. SunitaT
    August 13, 2014

    The neurosynaptic chip from IBM uses newer architecture as claimed by IBM Research, and therefore would handle dead codes and unruly algorithm in a more effecient manner.

  15. Daniel
    August 14, 2014

    “The neurosynaptic chip from IBM uses newer architecture as claimed by IBM Research, and therefore would handle dead codes and unruly algorithm in a more effecient manner.”

    Tirlapur, is it possible? I feel it's difficult to handle the unruly algorithms in a better way ; it can spoil everything.

  16. Eldredge
    August 14, 2014

    Did they name it 'HAL' by any chance?

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