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

pjmanney pj at pj-manney.com
Tue Mar 13 21:04:05 UTC 2007

Keith wrote:
>When you get serious, that's a sign you need to put numbers on it.  Or let 
>Google do it for you.


>You should rerun this calculation, but if I got it right the improvement 
>you would need power wise to run a brain in silicon from the amount 
>available from the human bloodstream is on the order of 10 exp 9.  That's a 
>billion times.

First, I want to thank everyone for jumping in and helping me out.  The glucose fuel cell is a great idea and one I completely forgot that I read in Freitas.  Much thanks to Anders, Robert and Eugen for that.

To Keith:

Just to be clear, I'm specifically looking to power a hippocampus prosthesis.  Ted Berger at USC has been working on it and in his paper "A Neural Prothesis for Hippocampal Memory Function," he outlines the five essential requirements for an implantable microchip.  He covers the first four in depth, but the fifth requirement is power and it's the only requirement he doesn't address at all, leaving me in the lurch, so to speak.  I know some of you might read my book someday and the last thing I need is emails saying, "Hey, dug the book, but you completely glossed over the energy issues!  Wassup?!"  ;-)  As noted before, the issue is heat generation near the sensitive brain tissues.

As for putting the numbers to it, you're right.  Unfortunately, I'm not the gal.  My dyslexia is really bad with numbers and mathematical formulas [and musical notation :-( ], so I leave that to the experts.  So I really appreciate your help.

Take care all,

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