Superconducting hardware: could scale up brain-inspired computing
The human brain is able to perform complex computations with great efficiency. Could superconducting hardware provide a more energy-efficient way to scale up brain-inspired computing?
The power usage effectiveness (PUE) of superconducting hardware is close to unity, meaning that almost all of the energy used by the hardware is available for computation. In contrast, computer servers today have a PUE of about 1.5 to 2.0, meaning that only 40-60% of the energy used by the servers is available for computation.
The low PUE of superconducting hardware is due to the fact that superconducting circuits can operate at very high speeds with very low levels of power dissipation. This makes them ideal for use in brain-inspired computing systems, which are designed to mimic the brain’s efficient computation.
While superconducting hardware is still in its infancy, there are already a few commercially available products that use this technology. For example, IBM has been using superconducting circuits to build a brain-inspired computer called TrueNorth.
It is hoped that as superconducting hardware matures, it will be able to provide more energy-efficient ways to scale up brain-inspired computing.
Superconducting hardware is seen as a potential means of scaling up brain-inspired computing. In theory, superconducting circuits could carry out the same kinds of operations as a neural network, with the potential to be far more energy efficient.
Researchers have been working on superconducting hardware for many years, but the technology has yet to mature enough for commercial use. The main challenge has been to create circuits that are both reliable and scalable.
Reliability is a particular issue for superconducting circuits, as they can be easily disrupted by external magnetic fields. This makes them impractical for use in many real-world applications.
Scalability is another challenge, as the number of superconducting circuits that can be integrated onto a single chip is limited. This means that superconducting hardware is not yet suitable for use in large-scale applications.
However, research is ongoing and there is hope that these challenges will be overcome in the future. If successful, superconducting hardware could revolutionize computing, providing a more efficient and powerful way to carry out brain-inspired operations.