Brain Power Up

The human brain was the template for neuromonic chips. Intel has taken the decades old concept and  introduced the “New Neuromonic Chip” they are calling LOIHI.

If you havent heard of this chip, here’s a quick review:

Like all neuromorphic chips, Loihi uses what researchers call “spiking neurons” as its basic computational building block. These neurons replace the traditional logic gates found in today’s silicon, and instead of processing information as binary 1s and 0s, they weight the signals they send, making their functionality more analog than binary. And, unlike CPUs, these neurons aren’t controlled by a central “clock” that regulates their calculations in a tick-tock fashion, but can instead fire as and when needed.

Although the neuromonic chips use 1,000 times less energy than older style of chips, they still haven’t proven viable in commercial use.

As Steve Furber, a scientist in the field, told IEEE Spectrum earlier this year: “There currently is a lot of hype about neuromorphic computing [but] there is currently no compelling demonstration of a high-volume application where neuromorphic outperforms the alternative.”

In other words, they’re just not ready for prime time yet. Back to the lab.



Chip off the old Block