Summary: Engineers at Zhejiang University have created China’s first brain-like computer, dubbed Darwin Mouse, that can mimic the way in which a human brain works and tackle complex calculations.
Original author and publication date: Li Yan – September 7, 2020
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: This technology, according to the article, is still in its infancy. Can anyone please tell me what the brain-like computer will be once it grows up?
From the article:
Though the technology is still in its infancy, experts say it could be used to run large, real-time simulations and make new discoveries in chemistry, medicine and the neurosciences. It could also be used to revolutionize computer design, leading to more powerful and efficient artificial intelligence.
Weighing only around 1.3 kilograms in the average adult, the human brain is the world’s most compact and efficient supercomputer. It conducts about 1,000 trillion logical operations a second, has theoretically limitless storage, and uses less power than a 20 watt light bulb, according to the Human Brain project, a European research program.
Our brain achieves these remarkable feats by using about 86 billion neuron cells, each forming up to 10,000 connections with other neurons known as synapses, to generate cogitation and consciousness. Scientists have been fascinated by the brain’s capabilities for centuries, and in recent years they have tried to replicate the smart ways it does calculations in electronic devices.
The Darwin Mouse achieves brain-like calculation via 792 specialized Darwin II computer chips, also developed by Zhejiang University, to emulate and support around 120 million neurons and nearly 100 billion synapses. That’s about as many neurons as in the brain of a mouse－and still many orders of magnitude behind the capacity of a human brain.
The machine, which fills three 1.6-meter-tall standard server chassis, requires only 350 to 500 watts to operate, the university said in a news release. In comparison, Fugaku, the world’s fastest supercomputer, needs around 28.3 million watts of power.