Semiconductor giant ARM is currently on a project about developing chips that can be implanted inside a person’s brain. ARM is developing such system along with a team composed of U.S. researchers to aid individuals with brain and spinal injuries.
Brain Chip Current Developments
The project is set to have a time-frame of 10 years and it is currently being developed at the University of Washington Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE). It aspires to create a chip that can sit inside a person’s skull, hence, allowing an individual to carry out tasks and receive sensory feedback normally.
As per Peter Ferguson, Director of ARM’s Healthcare Technologies, the researchers were able develop a prototype device earlier, but there are some concerns regarding power consumption and heat generation. They wanted to develop something like extremely small and with low power consumption.
Brain Chip Functions
The chip would work by transmitting signal from the brain to be able to manipulate movement. This allows information to be sent to and fro the brain. This one would be an advantageous innovation which can help individuals with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or even those with spinal cord injuries and neurological conditions.
Putting it on numbers, the Alzheimer’s Association (as of August 2016) has an estimate of more than 5 million people are affected by Alzheimer’s in the United States. There are an estimated 5.2 million people over age 65 having the disease whereas there are roughly 200,000 persons below 65 years of age who had an early-onset of Alzheimer’s. On the other hand, recent studies reveal as well that there are over 10 million people all over the world with Parkinson’s. Each year, there are like 60,000 Americans being diagnosed with the disease.
Other Related Brain Developments
Back in 2015, a slightly similar technology has been done by researchers at Case Western Reserve University located in Cleveland, Ohio (who claims to be the first to successfully re-establish brain, arm and hand connection and permit motion in a person with complete paralysis)
The scientists worked through the wonders of electronics – implanting it in the brain and aiding movements of arm and hand. The undertaking is a big milestone in the field of neuroscience which reveals the potential of restoring movements through brain connections by used of electronics and can help stroke patients and those with other known neurological disorders by helping the brain rewire itself.
Just this year, Elon Musk of Tesla (another renowned and celebrated company), has announced its newest company called as Neuralink which will focus on creating devices which can be embedded inside the brain. Its purpose is to help humans keep pace with developments about artificial intelligence.
Softbank and ARM
Last 2016m, ARM Holdings (based in Cambridge) was bought by Softbank (a Japanese firm) for £24bn (or $32 billion). Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of Softbank, even expressed his admiration for the company and now that he is already a part of ARM, he is just too excited to begin.
ARM powers almost 95 percent of the existing apples from the iPhone to the other smartphones in the market.
The semiconductor giant has been concentrating heavily on refining its IoT (Internet of Things) semiconductor portfolio. Experts say that IoT connected devices will reach 38.5 billion in the year 2020. Way back in 2015, there are 13.4 billion existing IoT devices.
ARM will continue to have legs in the future. Even Tesla, have seen the potential of such innovation and have decided to tread on the same path. Right now, there have been successful attempts of linking the brain to certain body parts and making them move. It would be worth it to hold stocks for some time.
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