Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Brain-Inspired Computer Architectures

European Commission provides funding of 8.5 million euros for the international “BrainScaleS” project

The development of novel brain-inspired computer architectures is the objective of the research work envisaged by a scientific consortium consisting of 13 work groups from 6 European countries. Neurobiologists, computer scientists, physicists and engineers have joined forces to embark on a project called “BrainScaleS”. In the period 2011-2014, this integrated venture will receive total funding of 8.5 million euros from the European Commission. Project coordinator is Karlheinz Meier of Heidelberg University’s Kirchhoff Institute of Physics.

The scientists involved in the BrainScaleS consortium intend to devise, build and operate a “neuromorphic” research facility. This term refers to systems based on electronic models of neural microcircuits. Their design is geared to the neurobiological structures of the nervous system, which means that they function quite differently from the numeric simulations of conventional high-performance computers. “Neuromorphic systems should display a number of important properties of the brain,” Karlheinz Meier explains. “That includes fault tolerance, learning capability and very low energy consumption.”

The planned neuromorphic facility will be able to implement architectures of any kind by connecting up over a million electronically and biologically inspired neurons with almost a billion adaptive synapses. The system will work about 10,000 times faster than its biological model and is thus an ideal device for investigating potential network architectures. User access via the Internet is planned. The experiments envisaged so far include not only biologically realistic perception-action loops but also experiments on the processing of generic, non-biological data.

The BrainScaleS project builds on a precursor project successfully completed in 2010 and also coordinated by Karlheinz Meier: “Fast Analog Computing with Emergent Transient States” (FACETS). In the new project, Heidelberg takes the lead in devising, constructing and operating the neuromorphic facility. BrainScaleS receives funding in the framework of the European Union’s “Future and Emerging Technologies” programme (FET), which focuses on the development of pioneering technologies. The work done in Heidelberg will be financed in the amount of 2 million euros.

For more information on BrainScaleS, go to the project website at

Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Meier
Kirchhoff Institute of Physics
phone: +49 6221 549831
Communications and Marketing
Press Office, phone: +49 6221 542311

Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT joins Facebook's Telecom Infra Project
25.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>