Getting computers to imitate the human brain is seen as the way forward in making them faster and more energy efficient. So much so that brain-emulation may actually be key to achieving the Singularity.
Samsung may have just placed us a step further in that direction after placing IBM's "cognitive chip" on an advanced image processing device, essentially creating a digital eye that can process digital imagery at a super fast rate.
IBM's TrueNorth chip base takes its cue from the brain: it has 4,096 computing cores, combining to almost a million digital neurons and 256 million synapse connections. This allows it to be fast and consume much less power.
Samsung used TrueNorth to build a better version of its Dynamic Vision Sensor (DVS), a platform for faster image processing. DVS makes pixels operate independently, acting up only when there is a change in what it sees. This allows it speeds of up to 2,000 frames per second (FPS). For comparison, typical digital cameras max out 120 FPS.
That high speed could be useful for creating 3D maps or gesture controls. At a press event on Thursday in San Jose, Samsung was able to control a TV using hand gestures from 10 feet away.