The press release from IBM is tantalizing and promises a new type of computer chips : IBM Unveils Cognitive Computing Chips:
Today, IBM researchers unveiled a new generation of experimental computer chips designed to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition. The technology could yield many orders of magnitude less power consumption and space than used in today’s computers.
In a sharp departure from traditional concepts in designing and building computers, IBM’s first neurosynaptic computing chips recreate the phenomena between spiking neurons and synapses in biological systems, such as the brain, through advanced algorithms and silicon circuitry. Its first two prototype chips have already been fabricated and are currently undergoing testing.
Stacey Higginbotham writes about the new IBM chips on GigaOm:For our sensor heavy future, IBM cooks up a new silicon brain
That’s where this new silicon comes in. IBM calls them neurosynaptic chips, and it’s architected in a completely different way than current semiconductors. Instead of creating silicon that has a processing core, a bus and a memory cache, IBM has taken a page from the human brain. The integrated memory is represented by synapses, computation by neurons and communication by axons. The current version is far less impressive than the human brain which has billion of neurons — this chip has 256. But the breakthrough here is not just about the new architecture but what that architecture means and where it fits in with the future of computing.
We'll have more on this exciting story as it unfolds.