Qualcomm, right now one of the major smartphone chipmakers in the world, will be working to develop extremely efficient neuro-inspired chips in the near future that will have these very same chips work within smartphones, robots, and vision systems. Of course, having such chips alone would be useless if it does not have the right kind of software to work with, which is why Qualcomm is working towards the end of a neuro-inspired chip. In other words, we are probably looking at a processor that will hopefully mimic the neural structures as well as processing methods found in the brain.
Qualcomm is not alone in such a quest, as we also know that the folks over at IBM too, have been prototyping somewhat similar processors. This particular approach seems to be the future so that machines are able to perform far more complex tasks without consuming a whole lot more power. Imagine a brain-like architecture that is capable of processing information in a distributed, parallel manner, just like how neurons and synapses function within a human brain.
In a sponsored talk at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference, Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob mentioned that by 2014, Qualcomm will be working alongside partners in designing and manufacturing such chips that will hopefully be used in a range of applications such as artificial vision sensors, robot controllers and perhaps even brain implants. This could eventually take the road of smartphones being able to sense and process information a whole lot more efficiently.
Apart from that, it has been several years since Qualcomm and Brain Corp. (a separate company that Qualcomm has invested in) have been working hand in hand on hardware and algorithms which made attempts in mimicking the way the human brain works, naming the overall program Zeroth.
It might just spell the end of Moore’s Law by then, who can really tell? Right now, our crystal ball remains glazed concerning the future of microprocessors.