New Circuit Board Simulates Neurons 9000 Times Faster than a PC

New Circuit Board Simulates Neurons 9000 Times Faster than a PC

Circuit Board

Bioengineers have developed a circuit board modeled on the human brain that can simulate neuron interactions 9000 times faster than a typical PC and at a fraction of the power consumption.

The brain is the world's most efficient computer. Even a mouse's brain operates 9000 times faster than a PC simulation of its functions, and the PC takes 40,000 times more power to run, according to Kwabena Boahen. The associate professor of bioengineering at Stanford released a new article detailing the work his team has done on developing the Neurogrid, a circuit board modeled after the human brain.

Consisting of 16 custom-designed "Neurocore" chips, the Neurogrid can simulate 1 million neurons and billions of synaptic connections, which is orders of magnitude more than other brain mimics out there, all while requiring no more power than a tablet computer. Unfortunately, cost is currently a big factor: the current prototype costs about $40,000. However, the Neurogrid's Neurocores were made using 15-year-old fabrication technologies, and Boahen believes costs can be cut 100-fold by switching to modern manufacturing processes and bulk-production.

One practical application of Neurocore chips can be found in the realm of prosthetics. Boahen envisions a Neurocore-like chip that could be implanted in a paralyzed person's brain, interpreting those intended movements and translating them to commands for prosthetic limbs in real-time. A small prosthetic arm in Boahen's lab currently serves as a proof-of-concept.

While Boahen notes that the Neurogrid is roughly 100,000 times more energy efficient than a PC simulation of 1 million neurons, it still comes nowhere close to biological model on which it is based.

"The human brain, with 80,000 times more neurons than Neurogrid, consumes only three times as much power," Boahen writes. "Achieving this level of energy efficiency while offering greater configurability and scale is the ultimate challenge neuromorphic engineers face."

Source: Stanford

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I'm pretty sure that's a sound chip from a Commodore 64... ;)

When I was a physics major back in the early 90's, I had a professor that was working on electronic reproduction of neurons. I wonder if he had anything to do with this Neurogrid chip.

Just one more step to making Shadowrun a reality.
Whose up for some decking?

That is pretty awesome. Though, I have to say that the dumbed down explanations of how the brain works in articles like this is a bit annoying. Good to know progress is being made in fields such as this. Sounds like they will have to custom make architecture for various uses though. I don't think this is a one size fits all solution. But, I'm not an expert on Neurology or the production of these things..... so very clearly I could be wrong.

yeah yeah people keep saying the brain is the most efficient computer but, can it run Crysis?

i didnt fucking think so

NuclearKangaroo:
yeah yeah people keep saying the brain is the most efficient computer but, can it run Crysis?

i didnt fucking think so

actually if you could figure out how to connect the brain up and program it in the right way it has plenty of memory and processing power to run crysis (yes I know your joking)

Why, hello, Baby Skynet. Just wait right there while I practice the speech I'll surely be making in the future.

ahem

"I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords."

Don't worry you beautiful bastards, you'll get there eventually.

The future will be awesome.

But what is the lifespan of these chips? Since they're using biomass and all.

Also, how long before this thing gains a will of its own and goes rogue on us all?

Reminds me of the bio-neural gel packs from Voyager.
Is it me or does this sound underplayed in some way? It reads like something that should've been an amazing breakthrough, rather than a curiosity.

If the brain is such an efficient computer why the hell do I have such a hard time recalling data from it?

So i shouldnt start saving for one just yet? god, i wish i could be a computer.

NuclearKangaroo:
yeah yeah people keep saying the brain is the most efficient computer but, can it run Crysis?

i didnt fucking think so

It can, just look at the texture resolution in real life!

canadamus_prime:
If the brain is such an efficient computer why the hell do I have such a hard time recalling data from it?

its too efficient. the way data is stored in your brain is wastly different from how we store data on computers. its not files and fonders, btu rather clusters of association. and those clusters.... gets overwritten with new information. and what gets overwritten..... is chose in a way we got no idea about. we have plenty of storage, but amount of information we recieve through our senses is WAST.

Atmos Duality:
Just one more step to making Shadowrun a reality.
Whose up for some decking?

I haven't played nearly enough Shadowrun. It's a supremely badass setting.

ryo02:

NuclearKangaroo:
yeah yeah people keep saying the brain is the most efficient computer but, can it run Crysis?

i didnt fucking think so

actually if you could figure out how to connect the brain up and program it in the right way it has plenty of memory and processing power to run crysis (yes I know your joking)

You are entirely wrong.

The human method of memory isn't remotely suitable to running things like regular software. You'd need to be able to rely on the output, instead of having everything be fuzzier than Google's testing laboratory running on a stuffed kitten.

Valderis:
Don't worry you beautiful bastards, you'll get there eventually.

The future will be awesome.

But what is the lifespan of these chips? Since they're using biomass and all.

Also, how long before this thing gains a will of its own and goes rogue on us all?

Biomass? Who said biomass? Other than you, that is.

insanelich:

Biomass? Who said biomass? Other than you, that is.

Well the article calls the people working on this stuff "Bioengineers", the chips are called "Neurocore chips", and it making a awful lot of comparisons to natural brains.

So pardon me for assuming they are working with living cells.

It's fine if its not the case, the article also states that it's "modeled after the human brain" and there is no actual mentioning of living cells being used, something you'd expect if that where to be the case.

 

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