Intel's Neuromorphic Chip Scales Up (and It Smells) [hpcwire.com]
Neuromorphic chips attempt to directly mimic the behavior of the human brain. Intel, which introduced its Loihi neuromorphic chip in 2017, has just announced that Loihi has been scaled up into a system that simulates over 100 million neurons. Furthermore, it announced that the chip smells. (That is to say: it's able to smell. To a nose, it probably just smells like a computer chip.)
Loihi is Intel's fifth-generation neuromorphic chip. It packs 128 cores – each of which has a built-in learning module – and a total of around 131,000 computational "neurons" that communicate with one another, allowing the chip to understand stimuli. The new system, Pohoiki Springs, contains over 100 million of those computational neurons. It consists of 768 Loihi chips, mounted on Intel Nahuku boards in a chassis that Intel describes as "the size of five standard servers," and a row of Arria10 FPGA boards. By contrast, Kapoho Bay, Intel's smallest neuromorphic device, consists of just two Loihi chips with 262,000 neurons.
"Pohoiki Springs scales up our Loihi neuromorphic research chip by more than 750 times, while operating at a power level of under 500 watts," said Mike Davies, director of Intel's Neuromorphic Computing Lab. "The system enables our research partners to explore ways to accelerate workloads that run slowly today on conventional architectures, including high-performance computing systems."