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Military Effort Seeks ‘Fully Implantable Devices’ to Connect with ‘Up to 1MM Neurons’

DARPA reports that “a new DARPA program aims to develop an implantable neural interface able to provide unprecedented signal resolution and data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world. The interface would serve as a translator, converting between the electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology. The goal is to achieve this communications link in a biocompatible device no larger than one cubic centimeter in size, roughly the volume of two nickels stacked back to back.”  

“The program, Neural Engineering System Design (NESD), stands to dramatically enhance research capabilities in neurotechnology and provide a foundation for new therapies.”  

“’Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem,’ said Phillip Alvelda, the NESD program manager. ‘Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.’”

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