It sounds like science fiction, but it's real. Scientists at Canterbury University in New Zealand have developed a computer chip that works almost exactly as the brain does. Instead of neurons and synapses, the chips have nanoswitches that route signals around a computer designed to monitor power consumption. Big data tasks that require thousands of bits of information to be collected and analyzed work better on neuromorphic computers. Built to be like the brain, these nanochips can provide a considerable amount of power on something the size of a postage stamp.
The developers plan to use the chips in computers that handle power supply grids. Computers use up to 8% of the world's electricity, and the chips can manage power demand more efficiently than traditional computers and software. While there is a great deal of research into software that is neuromorphic, the hardware is important as well. The brain, however, still remains the gold standard for processing information.