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Chasing the world’s first Brain-on-Chip AI computer

Tuesday, 22 March 2022
The new project BayesBrain aims to build the world’s first computer that combines brain cells and silicon microchips.

Besides being the most intelligent computing system ever, the brain is also very energy efficient. It uses orders of magnitude less energy than traditional computers, which makes it attractive for future sustainable computing hardware. TU/e researchers led by Regina Luttge and Bert de Vries recognize the revolutionary potential for a hybrid computer consisting of brain cells and silicon microchips, which could be used to solve real world problems such as low-power wearables, IoT devices, and advanced controllers for AI technologies.  

The office walls of TU/e researchers Regina Luttge (Mechanical Engineering) and Bert de Vries (Electrical Engineering) are adorned by art. Hanging over Luttge’s desk is a colorful piece that she painted herself, while in De Vries’ office there’s a painting of a man with a mathematical formula in the top-left hand corner.

Besides their contrasting office art, the pair also work in different fields. Luttge’s research focuses on growing brain cells in so-called Brain-on-Chip devices, while De Vries looks at computational neuroscience, signal processing, and machine learning.

Yet, the pair have joined forces for a high-risk high-gain project at TU/e with the ambitious goal of building the world’s first Brain-on-Chip AI computer that can solve problems in real-time and in a low-energy manner.

In other words, the researchers want to build a device where brain cells work with a silicon-based computer to enhance ultra-low power wearables, IoT devices, or controllers with AI technology in the future.

And the project’s name? The BayesBrain project