Skip to Content

Intel’s New Brain-Like Chip Can Adapt to New Jobs

September 26, 2017

The chipmaker has unveiled a prototype processor called Loihi that’s loosely based on the human brain. The so-called neuromporphic chip is the firm's latest effort to use digital circuits to recreate the brain’s electronic spikes, allowing the device to process data but also adjust its connections and adapt to new tasks.

Wired explains that Loihi, which takes its name from an underwater volcano in Hawaii, performs some jobs, like interpreting video, using a thousandth of the energy of a regular chip. That could allow future mobile devices like smartphones to crunch bigger AI problems without rapidly draining a battery.

But for now, the technology remains in its infancy. While Intel has been working on chips like these for years—and you can find out more about such neuromorphic processors in our primer on the tech—they're still some way from becoming a consumer reality. A case in point: Intel will allow a select band of a researchers to experiment with the full version of this device for the first time next year.

Deep Dive


Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.