International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s new chip, True North, emulates the working of the brain through a thickly interconnected network of transistors that enable the chip to recognize patterns.
“The processor may be able to recognize that a woman in a video is picking up a purse, or control a robot that is reaching into a pocket and pulling out a quarter,” Andrew Ross Sorkin quoted the newspaper report, talking about the capabilities of the chip to do things that present day computers are not able to do.
The chip is said to be faster, more powerful while using less energy than any of the current chips in the market. The New York Times report stated the chip contained 5.4 billion transistors, which is roughly five times more than the 1.4 billion transistors in modern day Intel processors. On the other hand, the chip consumes only 70 milliwatts of power as compared to 35 to 140 watts by Intel processors.
The brain-inspired chip is unlike its predecessors, which operated on a pre-programmed path, and processes data real-time. The company said that the chip had a scalable architecture that can manage advances in memory, logic, sensor technologies and 3G integration. TrueNorth is capable of 46 billion synaptic operations per second, per watt, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s website mentions.
The announcement of the brain-inspired chip comes within a month of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) unveiling an investment of $3 billion in chip research over the next five years to revitalize its hardware business.
While there are no details on the commercial availability of the chip, its applications can be varied. The chip can be used in cloud computing, robotics, mobile devices as well as in autonomous cars.