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SpiNNaker: Mapping Neural Networks onto a Massively-Parallel Chip Multiprocessor

M.M.Khan, D.R.Lester, L.A.Plana, A.D.Rast, X.Jin, E.Painkras, S.B.Furber


SpiNNaker is a novel chip - based on the ARM processor - which is designed to support large scale spiking neural networks simulations. In this paper we describe some of the features that permit SpiNNaker chips to be connected together to form scalable massively-parallel systems. Our eventual goal is to be able to simulate neural networks consisting of 109 neurons running in `real time', by which we mean that a similarly sized collection of biological neurons would run at the same speed. In this paper we describe the methods by which neural networks are mapped onto the system, and how features designed into the chip are to be exploited in practice. We will also describe the modelling and verification activities by which we hope to ensure that, when the chip is delivered, it will work as anticipated.

PDF (41K) IEEE Copyright