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Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Time: 11:00 am
Speaker: Bryan Jackson, IBM
Title: IBM's Brain-Inspired Computing Systems and Ecosystem
Location: 67-3111 Chemla Room


Over the past 6 years as part of the DARPA SyNAPSE program, IBM's Brain Inspired Computing group has created an end-to-end ecosystem that encompasses the entire development stack for neural-inspired applications. Algorithms and applications are first developed in our new programming language and environment; they are then simulated using our highly-optimized neural network simulator, Compass; and finally, the same networks are deployed on our real-time and energy-efficient neural-processor, TrueNorth. TrueNorth, inspired by Neuroscience is a radically untraditional design that melds asynchronous and synchronous design styles. At 5.4 billion transistors, TrueNorth is IBM's largest processor. TrueNorth contains 4096 neurosynaptic cores interconnected via an intra-chip network that integrates 1 million programmable spiking neurons and 256 million configurable synapses. Yet, the chip is extremely low power, consuming a mere 100mW. Additionally, chips can be tiled in two dimensions via an inter-chip communication interface, seamlessly scaling the architecture to a cortex like sheet of arbitrary size. The architecture is well suited to many applications that use complex neural networks in real-time, for example, multi-object detection and classification. Our hope is that this ecosystem will form the foundation for ultra-low-power, compact, real-time, multi-modal sensorimotor informational and technology systems, and that these will in turn provide enormous societal and economic benefits.