[extropy-chat] Research question: power supply forsilicon-based neural prostheses

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Mon Mar 12 23:59:29 UTC 2007

Actually thermoelectric devices would tend to be problematic unless you have
a nice external cold sink (e.g. the arctic air) for them.  If the external
air is warmer than body temp its a no-go (or unless you are running your Si
@ 105 deg F and sinking into the body @ 98 deg F. )  Much warmer than
105-110 deg F and you start to cook the surrounding cells.

They are also notoriously inefficient.

Much better, as was suggested to me indirectly from E.D. @ Extro III, is to
run them off of glucose based fuel cells.  I think this is also covered in
NM Vol I.  There is of course the Gd-148 power source (but that only flies
if you have real nanotech unless you want to try and do it with MEMS scale
technology (probably possible but I doubt anyone has tried it yet).  The
Gd-148 heat engine is discussed in NM Vol. I as well.

It largely depends on whether you anticipate driving it from the body or
some self-contained or "plug-in" power source.  Assume the brain is a 10W
machine.  So adding another 10-30W Si "drain" on the glucose energy the body
can supply probably isn't going to stretch things too much.  But if you want
to add 100-1000W then you have some real problems.

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