Without a doubt the brain is a marvelous organ, although there is still a great deal to learn about how it works. We do know that brain cells communicate through connections which reach out in three dimensions to other cells. When thought and motion take place, they communicate with each other very quickly. They are even in communication while you sleep.
In contrast to the human brain, the "thinking" parts of a computer are connected in two dimensions to "communicate" with each other. Researchers thought that it might boost performance if a three-dimensional computer chip could be designed. Cell phones already use a three-dimensional chip arrangement, but these are just individual flat chips stacked one on top of another. Researchers wanted to see what true three-dimensional chips (called TSVs), could do.
Now several chip manufacturers have developed working TSVs. They have found that three-dimensional chips transmit information faster and use less power than flat chips. In other words, they are more efficient than flat chips and pack more "thinking" power into a smaller space. Chip manufacturers are now working on ways to successfully mass produce the TSVs.
The three-dimensional computer chip does improve chip performance by mimicking the wiring of the brain. However, except in the area of calculation, we are nowhere close to mimicking the power of the human brain.
Notes: The Nikkei Weekly, 12/29/08 & 1/5/09, p. 3, "Semiconductor makers head for third dimension." Illustration: Courtesy of Shmuel Csaba Otto Traian. (CC BY-SA 4.0). Creation Moments, Inc., P.O. Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 www.creationmoments.com
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