Simulating One Second of Brain Activity

10 August 2013Science

Derrick Harris writing for GigaOM:

The hardware necessary to simulate the activity of 1.73 billion nerve cells connected by 10.4 trillion synapses (just 1 percent of a brain’s total neural network) for 1 biological second: 82,944 processors on the K supercomputer and 1 petabyte of memory (24 bytes per synapse). That 1 second of biological time took 40 minutes, on one of the world’s most-powerful systems, to compute.

If computing time scales linearly with the size of the network (a big if; I have no idea if this would be the case), it would take nearly two and half days to simulate 1 second of activity for an entire brain.

Despite all of the progress we’ve made with computer technology, the human brain is still the true supercomputer.