IBM’s TrueNorth seeks to create a computer architecture that is more like the human brain.

In a series of three papers released today, [Dharmendra S. Modha‘s,] team details the TrueNorth system and its possible applications.

Most modern computer systems are built on the Von Neumann architecture—with separate units for storing information and processing it sequentially—and they use programming languages designed specifically for that architecture. Instead, TrueNorth stores and processes information in a distributed, parallel way, like the neurons and synapses in a brain.

Modha’s team has also developed software that runs on a conventional supercomputer but simulates the functioning of a massive network of neurosynaptic cores—with 100 trillion virtual synapses and 2 billion neurosynaptic cores.

The goal is to create a system that can address problems that the current standard architecture is unable to address.

If you look at which architecture can already [solve these problems] today, it’s the brain,” says [Karlheinz Meier, co-director of the European Union’s Human Brain Project ]. “We learn from data. We do not have predetermined algorithms. We are able to make predictions and causal relationships even in situations we have never seen before.”

Every exponential increase in computing power has produced a vast array of devices that have in turn advanced every other field and improved productivity.   While Glacier does not expect anything like this to find its way into your rugged laptop or tablet anytime soon,  feel free to explore all the potential Matrix and Sky Net scenarios at your inconvenience.


Glacier Computer designs and manufactures processing power and mobility solutions in form-factors to survive the most rugged environments. 


MIT Technology Review