The executive summary is that we will have computing capacity to handle whole brain simulations by around 2020, and that Moores law applies to functional brain mapping as well as to processors.
“I figure we need about 10 quadrillion calculations a second to provide a functional equivalent to all the regions of the brain. IBM’s Blue Gene/L computer is already at 100 trillion. If we plug in the semiconductor industry’s projections, we can see that 10 quadrillion calculations a second will be available for $1,000 by around 2020.
“So now the controversy is focused on the algorithms. To understand the principles of human intelligence we need to reverse-engineer the human brain. Here progress is far greater than most people realize. The spatial and temporal resolution of brain scanning is progressing at an exponential rate, roughly doubling each year. Scanning tools can see individual interneuronal connections and watch them fire in real time. We already have mathematical models and simulations of a few dozen regions of the brain, including the cerebellum, which comprises more than half the neurons. It is reasonable to conclude that in two decades we will have effective models for most of the brain.”