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A million spiking-neuron integrated circuit with a scalable communication network and interface

Science  08 Aug 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6197, pp. 668-673
DOI: 10.1126/science.1254642

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Modeling computer chips on real brains

Computers are nowhere near as versatile as our own brains. Merolla et al. applied our present knowledge of the structure and function of the brain to design a new computer chip that uses the same wiring rules and architecture. The flexible, scalable chip operated efficiently in real time, while using very little power.

Science, this issue p. 668

Abstract

Inspired by the brain’s structure, we have developed an efficient, scalable, and flexible non–von Neumann architecture that leverages contemporary silicon technology. To demonstrate, we built a 5.4-billion-transistor chip with 4096 neurosynaptic cores interconnected via an intrachip network that integrates 1 million programmable spiking neurons and 256 million configurable synapses. Chips can be tiled in two dimensions via an interchip communication interface, seamlessly scaling the architecture to a cortexlike sheet of arbitrary size. The architecture is well suited to many applications that use complex neural networks in real time, for example, multiobject detection and classification. With 400-pixel-by-240-pixel video input at 30 frames per second, the chip consumes 63 milliwatts.

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