Washingston: International Business Machines Corp unveiled a "brain-like" computer chip on Thursday that is the size of a postage stamp and capable of processing massive amounts of data while handling inputs from many different sources, the company said.
The announcement comes one month after IBM unveiled a $3 billion investment over the next five years in chip research and development to find a game-changing breakthrough that can help revive its slumping hardware unit.
Unlike most chips, which operate on pre written paths, IBM`s version processes data in realtime and is capable of dealing with ambiguity, the company said. It runs on the energy equivalent of a hearing aid.
Built on Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co Ltd`s 28nm process technology, the chip only consumes 70mW of energy.
A product of almost a decade of research, the chip aims to bridge the divide between existing computers and the brain`s high cognitive power and low energy use.
"After years of collaboration with IBM, we are now a step closer to building a computer similar to our brain," said Professor Rajit Manohar at Cornell Tech, where the chip was designed.
The chip contains one million programmable neurons and could allow a thermometer to scan and smell chemical signals and deliver a diagnosis, or help a search and rescue robot to identify people in need during a disaster, the company said.
IBM hopes it can integrate multi-sensory processing into mobile devices and says the chip can handle future advances in memory, 3G integration, logic and sensor technologies.
First Published: Friday, August 8, 2014, 09:30