University of Manchester Giant Brain
£15m giant computer designed to mimic the human brain is ready to be switched on after 12 years in development.
14:30 07 November 2018
After 12 years of construction, the £15million giant computer built by the University of Manchester is finally ready to be switched on. Featuring one million processors capable of 200 trillion actions per second, the Spiking Neural Network Architecture or SpiNNaker mimics the parallel communication architecture of the brain by sending small amounts of information to different destinations simultaneously. It can also run real-time simulations of various regions of the brain, such as the Basal Ganglia – an area affected in Parkinson’s disease.
Professor of computer engineering at the University of Manchester Steve Furber, said: "We’ve essentially created a machine that works more like a brain than a traditional computer, which is extremely exciting. The ultimate objective for the project has always been a million cores in a single computer for real time brain modelling applications, and we have now achieved it, which is fantastic.”
"Neuroscientists can now use SpiNNaker to help unlock some of the secrets of how the human brain works by running unprecedentedly large scale simulations," Professor Furber said. "It also works as real-time neural simulator that allows roboticists to design large scale neural networks into mobile robots so they can walk, talk and move with flexibility and low power."
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