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Chip Reads 3D from 2D Images

Some clever computer development chaps have put together a chip that is capable of helping computers view a 2D image and identify 3D features in the way that humans can. This could potentially lead to cars that can drive themselves completely, as well as much improved CCTV.

In the past, standard computers needed massive computational power to be able to understand 2D images effectively. In reality, before this development it would require a supercomputer to control a car via camera, now though it could become a lot easier. Known as Neuflow, the new technology comes on a single chip and has been modelled on the brain's visual processing centre. Its creators state that it can view 2D images and extract third dimension information in real time. Apparently it's even small and economical. "The complete system is going to be no bigger than a wallet, so it could easily be embedded in cars and other places," says Eugenio Culurciello of Yale uni's engineering department. Apparently such a Neuflow "convolutional neural network" would need only a few watts to power it, meaning incorporating it in vehicles wouldn't cause too much of a reduction in fuel economy.