Building Brain on MicrochipMarch 25, 2009
An international team of scientists in Europe has created a silicon chip designed to function like a human brain. With 200,000 neurons linked up by 50 million synaptic connections, the chip is able to mimic the brain’s ability to learn more closely than any other machine.
The number of neurons in human brain is about 50–100 billion (10^11) neurons with 100 trillion (10^14) synaptic connections.
In fact, the current prototype can operate about 100,000 times faster than a real human brain. “We can simulate a day in a second,” says Karlheinz.
“The reason why computers seem much slower is that they are serial machines, while our brains run in parallel,” he says.
The synapses are designed to use a very powerful distributed algorithm–developed by Markram–called spike-timing dependent plasticity, that allows the device to learn and adapt to new situations.
“It’s not a brain. It’s a more of a computer processor that has some of the accelerated parallel computing that the brain has,” he says.