There’s a $1.3 billion “Human Brain Project” based in Europe right now that is attempting to use computers to simulate first a mouse’s brain, then a human’s, and which IBM is contributing computing equipment. That research will hopefully result in a better understanding of conditions such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and autism. But IBM is also using the brain to help design processors more powerful and more efficient than anything out there today.
By integrating fluids right into the processor and using them to both cool and distribute electrical power, IBM is hoping to build a computer that can hit 1 Petaflop in 10 liters. These liquids, which could provide 1 watt of power for every square centimetre of a ciruite board, would pass right through the chip, meaning that chips can be stacked into dense 3D configurations as opposed to laid out along an integrated circuit board. From CNET:
It’s all part of what IBM calls the cognitive systems era, in which computers aren’t just programmed, but also perceive what’s going on, make judgments, communicate with natural language, and learn from experience. It’s a close cousin to that decades-old dream of artificial intelligence.
IBM’s anticipating this will take 10-15 years to develop so we’ll just have to wait 5 year until Intel comes out with it.