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Bbc: Ibm Unveils Computer Fed By 'electronic Blood'


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IBM unveils computer fed by 'electronic blood'


IBM has unveiled a prototype of a new brain-inspired computer powered by what it calls "electronic blood".


The firm says it is learning from nature by building computers fuelled and cooled by a liquid, like our minds.


The human brain packs phenomenal computing power into a tiny space and uses only 20 watts of energy - an efficiency IBM is keen to match.


Its new "redox flow" system pumps an electrolyte "blood" through a computer, carrying power in and taking heat out.


A very basic model was demonstrated this week at the technology giant's Zurich lab by Dr Patrick Ruch and Dr Bruno Michel.


Their vision is that by 2060, a one petaflop computer that would fill half a football field today, will fit on your desktop.


"We want to fit a supercomputer inside a sugarcube. To do that, we need a paradigm shift in electronics - we need to be motivated by our brain," says Michel.


"The human brain is 10,000 times more dense and efficient than any computer today.


"That's possible because it uses only one - extremely efficient - network of capillaries and blood vessels to transport heat and energy - all at the same time."




"The computer industry uses $30bn of energy and throws it out of the window. We're creating hot air for $30bn," says Michel.


"Ninety-nine per cent of a computer's volume is devoted to cooling and powering. Only 1% is used to process information. And we think we've built a good computer?"


"The brain uses 40% of its volume for functional performance - and only 10% for energy and cooling."


Michel's vision is for a new "bionic" computing architecture, inspired by one of the laws of nature - allometric scaling - where an animal's metabolic power increases with its body size.


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Ry Kurzweil aggregates cool stories like this in a daily newsletter. It really provides a snapshot of the wonder of human ingenuity. Instead of reading any of the largely irrelevant **** covered on mainstream news, it's a great way to start the morning.


Today features the story in the OP and some others on applications of IBM's Watson computer, a scientific definition of consciousness, using Kinect to help the blind enjoy yoga, data mining dreams, and more  B)



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