"Less than a week after Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Roadrunner supercomputer began operating at world-record petaflop/s data-processing speeds, Los Alamos researchers are already using the computer to mimic extremely complex neurological processes.
"Late last week and early this week while verifying Roadrunner’s performance, Los Alamos and IBM researchers used three different computational codes to test the machine. Among those codes was one dubbed “PetaVision” by its developers and the research team using it.
"PetaVision models the human visual system—mimicking more than 1 billion visual neurons and trillions of synapses.
"On Saturday, Los Alamos researchers used PetaVision to model more than a billion visual neurons surpassing the scale of 1 quadrillion computations a second (a petaflop/s). On Monday scientists used PetaVision to reach a new computing performance record of 1.144 petaflop/s. The achievement throws open the door to eventually achieving human-like cognitive performance in electronic computers.
"Based on the results of PetaVision’s inaugural trials, Los Alamos researchers believe they can study in real time the entire human visual cortex—arguably a human being’s most important sensory apparatus."
For more details, see the press release from LANL.