The $1 million computer has 16 IBM microprocessors designed to mimic the way the brain works.
IBM says it will be five to seven years before TrueNorth sees widespread commercial use, but the Lawrence Livermore test is a big step in that direction.
Like the human brain, TrueNorth doesn’t burn a lot of energy. A server chip typically consumes upward of 150 watts; 16 TrueNorth chips, just 2.5 watts.
Qualcomm is working on a similar chip called Zeroth. Microsoft researchers are experimenting with programmable processors designed to work with the company’s Bing search engine.