International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) To Help Develop Brain-Inspired Supercomputer For Nuclear Environment
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and a federal facility known as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are getting together to create a kind of brain-inspired supercomputing platform. The supercomputer will be used by LLNL to enhance its nuclear monitoring program.
LLNL officials are already saying that the supercomputing platform they are developing together with International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) could dramatically change the way science is done.
The amazing human brain
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), LLNL and their partners are inspired by the supercomputing capabilities of the human brain. Therefore, they will be working to develop a supercomputing platform that borrows much from how the human brain works. They say it will be a neural network-based advanced computing platform.
The brain-inspired supercomputer will feature deep learning and cognitive capabilities. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s Watson is well-known for its cognitive computing capabilities and it is likely to find a role in the supercomputing project for the nuclear program.
What does LLNL do?
LLNL is mandated with the task of ensuring the safety and security of the U.S. nuclear program. It is a delicate assignment and the facility continuously works to perfect its technology to ensure better delivery of its mandate. A brain-inspired supercomputing platform will enable LLNL to be more efficient in its oversight of the U.S. nuclear arsenal program.
What’s IBM/LLNL dreaming?
The envisaged brain-inspired supercomputer, also known as neuromorphic computing, will be based on high-performance neurosynaptic TrueNorth processors developed by International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM). The chips are primarily designed enable more advanced cognitive, sensory processing and efficiency capabilities in computers.
Each TrueNorth chip consists of 5.4 billion transistors arranged in a manner that creates a million digital neurons. The neurons can communicate with one another through 256 million electrical synapses.
Therefore, to build a brain-inspired supercomputer, IBM and LLNL will pack 16 TrueNorth chips capable of doing four billion synapses inside a single platform. The system is also expected to be energy efficient, with its power usage expected to be equivalent to that of a tablet.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and LLNL will also work with other partners including universities on the brain-inspired supercomputer program.
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