No computer can compete with the sheer computational speed and dynamic abilities of the human brain. Yet. A team of scientists from Michigan Technological University and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan recently developed a new parallel processing chip has demonstrated brain-like computational power at speeds that could rival the fastest supercomputers.
The processor’s lightning-fast speed is the result of its organic structure. It is composed of organic molecules arranged so that they can simultaneously exchange information and work together toward one solution. This design is a major improvement from the serial processors that have been used in modern computers for the last 60 years. The parallel processor can not only compute at a much faster speed than serial processors, but can also perform more operations at the same time.
Many scientists agree that the brain is the fastest computer in existence because of the extensive connectivity and integration that occurs between neurons. The developers of the new organic processor argue that since it can integrate multiple signals like the brain can, it will be able to solve complex problems that today’s parallel processors are unable to compute. They have already used it to simulate two natural phenomena (heat diffusion and cancer proliferation), demonstrating its complex computational ability. The next step is to expand this technology into larger components for use in a lot of different common applications. We can’t even imagine the effects that parallel processing could have on our everyday lives. These “smart” chips could conceivably be added to almost every common technology to make them more human-like. The possibilities seem limitless.