The world’s largest supercomputer designed to work in the same way as the human brain has been switched on for the first time. The newly formed million-processor-core Spiking Neural Network Architecture (SpiNNaker) machine is capable of completing more than 200 million actions per second, with each of its chips having 100 million transistors. To reach this point it has taken £15million in funding, 20 years in conception and over 10 years in construction, with the initial build starting way back in 2006, according to a statement.
The SpiNNaker machine, designed and built in The University of Manchester in the UK, can model more biological neurons in real time than any other machine on the planet. Biological neurons are basic brain cells present in the nervous system that communicate primarily by emitting ‘spikes’ of pure electro-chemical energy.
Neuromorphic computing uses large scale computer systems containing electronic circuits to mimic these spikes in a machine. SpiNNaker is unique because, unlike traditional computers, it does not communicate by sending large amounts of information from point A to B via a standard network.
Instead it mimics the massively parallel communication architecture of the brain, sending billions of small amounts of information simultaneously to thousands of different destinations. “SpiNNaker completely re-thinks the way conventional computers work. We’ve essentially created a machine that works more like a brain than a traditional computer, which is extremely exciting,” said Steve Furber, who conceived the initial idea for such a computer. “The ultimate objective for the project has always been a million cores in a single computer for real time brain modelling applications, and we have now achieved it, which is fantastic,” said Furber.
Researchers eventually aim to model up to a billion biological neurons in real time and are now a step closer. To give an idea of scale, a mouse brain consists of around 100 million neurons and the human brain is 1,000 times bigger than that. One billion neurons is one per cent of the scale of the human brain, which consists of just under 100 billion brain cells, or neurons, which are all highly interconnected via approximately one quadrillion synapses. One of the fundamental uses for the supercomputer is to help neuroscientists better understand how our own brain works. It does this by running extremely large scale real-time simulations which simply aren’t possible on other machines.
For example, SpiNNaker has been used to simulate high-level real-time processing in a range of isolated brain networks. This includes an 80,000 neuron model of a segment of the cortex, the outer layer of the brain that receives and processes information from the senses. It also has simulated a region of the brain called the Basal Ganglia – an area affected in Parkinson’s disease, meaning it has massive potential for neurological breakthroughs in science such as pharmaceutical testing. The power of SpiNNaker has even recently been harnessed to control a robot, the SpOmnibot. This robot uses the SpiNNaker system to interpret real-time visual information and navigate towards certain objects while ignoring others.
“Neuroscientists can now use SpiNNaker to help unlock some of the secrets of how the human brain works by running unprecedentedly large scale simulations,” Furber said. “It also works as real-time neural simulator that allows roboticists to design large scale neural networks into mobile robots so they can walk, talk and move with flexibility and low power,” he said.
Novel microscope can non-invasively diagnose, treat diseases:Study
Scientists have developed a specialised microscope that has the potential to diagnose diseases like skin cancer as well as perform precise surgery without making any incisions in the skin.
According to the study published in the journal Science Advances, the microscope allows medical professionals to pinpoint the exact location of an abnormality, diagnose it and treat it instantly.
“Our technology allows us to scan tissue quickly, and when we see a suspicious or abnormal cell structure, we can perform ultra-precise surgery and selectively treat the unwanted or diseased structure within the tissue – without cutting into the skin,” said Yimei Huang from the University of British Columbia in Canada.
It could be used to treat any structure of the body that can be reached by light and requires extremely precise treatment, including nerves or blood vessels in the skin, eye, brain or other vital structures, researchers said.
“For diagnosing and scanning diseases like skin cancer, this could be revolutionary,” said Harvey Lui, professor at the University of British Columbia.
The study shows that the device allows imaging of living tissue up to about one millimetre in depth using an ultrafast infrared laser beam.
Researchers said that this microscope, however, is different from previous technology due to its capability to not only digitally scan living tissue, but also treat the tissue by intensifying the heat produced by the laser.
“We can alter the pathway of blood vessels without impacting any of the surrounding vessels or tissues,” said Lui.
The researchers also said that their aim is to make multiphoton microscope technology more versatile while also increasing its precision.
“We wanted to be able to identify what was happening under the skin from many different angles and to have the capability of imaging different body sites,” said Haishan Zeng from the University of British Columbia.
Developments of a miniature version of the telescope that could be used to perform microscopic examinations and treatment during endoscopy are also underway, researchers said.
“We are not only the first to achieve fast video-rate imaging that enables clinical applications, but also the first to develop this technology for therapeutic uses,” said Zeng
Black Shark 2 gaming smartphone coming to India on May 27:Report
After Asus and Nubia, Black Shark is set to launch a high-end gaming smartphone in India. According to BGR India, Black Shark has already started sending invites for the launch of Black Shark 2. The gaming phone will reportedly launch in India on May 27.
Black Shark 2 was launched in March and is already available for sale in China. The phone is the second-generation gaming smartphone and a follow-up to the Black Shark Helo.
This will be the first ever gaming smartphone from Black Shark to launch in the country. In case you are not aware, Black Shark is a sub-brand of Xiaomi.
As expected, this is a premium smartphone with top-of-the-line specifications. The device boasts a 6.39-inch AMOLED display with a 2340 x 1080 and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The entire display, according to the company, is pressure sensitive. This means gamers can map onto the display that reacts to different levels of pressure
Under the hood, it is powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor coupled with either 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage or 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage. There’s also a 4,000mAh battery with 27W fast charging support, a 48MP/12MP rear camera setup, and a 20MP front-facing camera.
It also features an in-display fingerprint scanner, similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro and Galaxy S10+. Black Shark 2 also comes with Liquid Cooling 3.0, a vapor cooling system similar to what the Razer Phone 2 uses. The company also plans to sell optional accessories with the Black Shark 2 in India.
The launch of Black Shark 2 comes at a time when the popularity of mobile games like PUBG and Fortnite at the all-time high in India. The gaming smartphone will take on the likes of the Asus ROG Phone and Nubia Red Magic. Interestingly, ZTE’s sub-brand Nubia is also expected to launch the Red Magic 3 in India in the coming days.
Tara Sutaria obsessed with makeup
Actress Tara Sutaria, who has wooed the audience with her stylish and glamorous looks in her debut film ‘Student of the Year 2’, says she loves to do makeup. “I am completely obsessed with makeup. I love to experiment different cosmetic products.
I even check social media to have a look at trending makeup and fashion styles…So that I don’t miss out anything,” Tara told IANS. She has also shared her own makeup style.
“During day time, I prefer to have a natural look…So I opt for minimal makeup. At night, I like to go a little bold,” added Tara, who has been appointed brand ambassador for the global brand, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, in India. Ater putting on makeup, the 23-year-old makes sure to keep herself hydrated as much as possible.
“The most important thing to do is to keep youself hydrated. So when I apply makeup, I make sure to drink ample amount of water. And it is very much important to take off your makeup from your skin completely before heading to sleep. Cleansing, toning and moisturising is my skin care ritual.” On the work front, Tara will next be seen in ‘Marjaavaan’.