IBM develops a computer chip that functions like a human brain

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IBM develops a computer chip with one million ‘neurons’ that ‘functions like a human brain’

  • TrueNorth is being hailed as the world’s first neurosynaptic computer chip because it can figure things out on its own
  • Modern processors have 1.4 bn transistors and consume up to 140 watts but the IBM chip contains 5.4 bn transistors and uses just 70 milliwatts
  • Richard Doherty, the research director of tech research firm Envisioneering Group, hailed IBM’s chip as a ‘really big deal’

IBM has developed a computer chip which it says will function like a human brain in a giant step forward for artificial intelligence.

TrueNorth is being hailed as the world’s first neurosynaptic computer chip because it can figure things out on its own.

The chip also has one million ‘neurons’ and could cram the same power as a super computer into a circuit the size of a postage stamp.

Experts said that it was as big an advance as the advent of supercomputers in the 1980.

Horst Simon, deputy director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, told the New York Times: ‘It is a remarkable achievement in terms of scalability and low power consumption’.

Modern processors have some 1.4 billion transistors and consume up to 140 watts but the IBM chip contains 5.4 billion transistors and uses just 70 milliwatts of power, meaning it is incredibly efficient.

TrueNorth will use closely interconnected ‘neurons’ just like the brain does meaning that it can work proactively to a level not seen before.

In addition to the one million ‘neurons’ it has 256 million programmable synapses, the most IBM has ever put in a chip.

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IBM¿s cognitive programme is called SyNapse, which is similar to Skynet, the computer in The Terminator

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