Dan Goldin, former NASA chief, is preparing to launch a startup that has been working for last 10 years on a form of brain-like computing. His San Diego-based company, KnuEdge, has developed a processor chip and related hardware and software, aiming to bring dramatic speed improvements to tough chores like finding patterns in images, sounds and financial data. KnuEdge is disclosing its plans, along with a parallel effort in software to help recognize speech in noisy environments.

The company claims that its first chip has 256 processor cores. It also developed a companion communication technology that can link up to 512,000 of the chips at extremely high speed. KnuEdge expects financial-service firms to be particularly interested, for purposes such as analyzing patterns of transactions to prevent fraud. It expects to begin selling boards and chassis based on the technology by the end of third quarter.