Researchers for the computer hardware giant have developed a postage-stamp-size chip, equipped with 5.4 billion transistors, that is capable of simulating 1 million neurons and 256 million neural connections, or synapses. In addition to mimicking the brain's processing by themselves, individual chips can be connected together like tiles, similar to how circuits are linked in the human brain.
The team used its "TrueNorth" chip, described today (Aug. 7) in the journal Science, to perform a task that is very challenging for conventional computers: identifying people or objects in an image. [Super-Intelligent Machines: 7 Robotic Futures]
"We have not built a brain. What we have done is learn from the brain's anatomy and physiology," said study leader Dharmendra Modha, manager and lead researcher of the cognitive computing group at IBM Research - Almaden in San Jose, California.