By Sally Ward-Foxton, EETime (March 22, 2020)
Intel has scaled up its neuromorphic computing system by integrating 768 of its Loihi chips into a 5 rack-unit system called Pohoiki Springs. This cloud-based system will be made available to Intel’s Neuromorphic Research Community (INRC) to enable research and development of larger and more complex neuromorphic algorithms. Pohoiki Springs contains the equivalent of 100 million neurons, about the same number as in the brain of a small mammal such as a mole rat or a hamster.
Intel debuted its Loihi neuromorphic chip for research applications in 2017. It mimics the architecture of the brain, using electrical pulses known as spikes, whose timing modulates the strength of the connections between neurons. The modulation of these strengths is analogous to how weights affect the impact of parameters in an artificial neural network.
Loihi’s architecture uses extreme parallelism, many-to-many communication and asynchronous signals to mimic the brain’s structure (there are no multiply-accumulate units). The aim is to provide performance improvements for special brain-inspired algorithms at dramatically reduced power levels.
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