[ExI] Smallest human-equivalent device

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sat Oct 12 16:59:17 UTC 2013

On Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 4:37 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

 > there's a widespread tendency to underestimate what evolutionary-driven
> biology has managed to accomplish in
> a few gigayears. A synapse is pretty damn small
> Synaptic active zone diameter: 300 ± 150 nm
> Synaptic vesicle diameter: 35 ± 0.3 up to 50 nm

Yes but unlike the 22 nm 3D transistors that you have in your computer
right now (or the 14 nanometer ones in the Broadwell chip when Intel ships
it in 2014) a synapse cannot switch from on to off without the aid of a
much much larger structure, an entire neuron, or rather 2 entire neurons.
Oh and then there is the fact that the typical neuron firing rate varies
depending on the neuron, about 10 per second for the slowpokes and 200
times a second for the speed daemons; but the typical transistor in your
computer fires somewhere north of 3 BILLION times a second.

  John K Clark
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