Thursday, July 14, 2011

One million ARM CPU to simulate the brain

British researchers from the University of Southampton, Cambridge and Sheffield working on the project Spinnaker (Spiking Neural Network architecture and network architecture of neurons spiked in French) which is to bring together a million ARM processors in a node that will be used to simulate 1% of the human brain and better understand the functions of its various regions.

Each chip in the heart of this system contains 18 ARM processors. The architecture was designed by the University of Manchester is also one of the major players in the project. The first copies were delivered and tested. Scientists hope the machine will test the assumptions of psychologists and neurologists, to develop new cures and better understand the processing of information by the brain.

To do this, Spinnaker will reproduce the functioning of neurons. Each pulse sent by a human neuron will be represented by a data packet to be forwarded to the virtual neurons. This is an equation that will be resolved in real time by ARM processors. The chip contains an ARM processor occupies 19 mm2 packaging and uses a system-on-package memory package with a package over the processor and another below.

It consumes 1 W. The name of the Taiwanese foundry that manufactured these chips is not mentioned in the statement. We contacted the University of Manchester and expect a response. Research around the brain increase and it is undeniable that we advance towards a better understanding of its mechanisms, allowing to consider the breed in a machine.

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