Intel neuromorphic chip 64 interconnects: 8 million neurons (electronics manufacturing expo news)

18 Jul 2019

In September 2017, Intel released a new neuromorphic chip “Loihi”, and continued to make new breakthroughs and progress. It also established the Intel electronics manufacturing expo Neuromorphic Research Community (INRC) to promote the development of neural mimicry.

Now, Intel has announced a new neuromorphic system codenamed "Pohoiki Beach" that includes up to 64 Loihi chips, integrating 132 billion transistors, with a total area of ​​3,840 square millimeters, 8 million neurons, and 8 billion synapses.

The Intel Loihi chip is fabricated on a 14nm process, integrates 2.1 billion transistors, has a core area of ​​60 square millimeters, integrates three Quark x86 CPU cores, 128 neural mimetic cores, 130,000 neurons, 130 million synapses, and Programming toolchain support including the Python API.

This chip does not use the von Neumann calculation model of the traditional silicon chip, but mimics the neural mimetic calculation method of the human electronics manufacturing expo brain principle, and is an asynchronous circuit that does not require a global clock signal, but uses an asynchronous pulse neural network (SNN).

Intel claims that in specific applications such as sparse coding, schema search, path planning, simultaneous positioning and mapping (SLAM), and constraint satisfaction, Loihi is up to 1000 times faster and up to 10,000 times more efficient than traditional CPUs.

The latest 64-chip system has been shared with more than 60 INRC eco-partners. Tests have shown that when running real-time deep learning benchmarks, its power consumption is 109 times lower than that of traditional CPUs, and the power electronics manufacturing expo consumption of bit-based IoT inference hardware is also five times lower, and the network scale can be expanded by 50 times. Maintain real-time performance, power consumption is only increased by 30%, IoT hardware will increase power consumption by more than 5 times, and lose real-time.

According to the plan, Intel will achieve 100 million neurons and 100 billion synapses by the end of this year. It is expected that there will be 768 chips and 1.5 trillion transistors.

In theory, Loihi can be extended to a maximum of 16384 electronics manufacturing expo chip interconnects, which is more than 2 billion neurons (about 86 billion human brains), but Intel does not intend to do so.

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