Real-time Scalable Cortical Computing at 46 Giga-Synaptic OPS/Watt with 100× Speedup in Time-to-Solution and 100,000× Reduction in Energy-to-Solution”

IBM’s neuromorphic system has a parallel, event-driven kernel for neurosynaptic computation, that is efficient with respect to computation, memory, and communication. Building on the previously demonstrated highly-optimized software expression of the kernel, here, they demonstrate TrueNorth, a co-designed silicon expression of the kernel. TrueNorth achieves five orders of magnitude reduction in energy-to- solution and two orders of magnitude speedup in time-to-solution, when running computer vision applications and complex recurrent neural network simulations. Breaking path with the von Neumann architecture, TrueNorth is a 4,096 core, 1 million neuron, and 256 million synapse brain-inspired neurosynaptic processor, that consumes 65mW of power running at real-time and delivers performance of 46 Giga-Synaptic OPS/Watt. They demonstrate seamless tiling of TrueNorth chips into arrays, forming a foundation for cortex-like scalability. Unprecedented time-to-solution, energy-to-solution, scale, and performance of TrueNorth, combined with underlying flexibility of the kernel enables a broad range of cognitive applications.

The long-term aspiration is to build a “1%-human-scale” system with 4,096 processors one trillion synapses and that consumes merely 4kW.

For other finalist papers for ACM Gordon Bell Prize

The Gordon Bell Prize is not just a highlight of SC, it’s one of the highest honors in HPC (high performance computting).

* “Petascale High Order Dynamic Rupture Earthquake Simulations on Heterogeneous Supercomputers,” an international research project co-led by Michael Bader (Technische Universität München, Germany), Christian Pelties (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Germany) and Alexander Heinecke (Intel, United States).

* “Physics-based urban earthquake simulation enhanced by 10.7 BlnDOF x30 K time-step unstructured FE non-linear seismic wave simulation,” from a Japanese research team, led by University of Tokyo’s Tsuyoshi Ichimura.

* “Anton 2: Raising the Bar for Performance and Programmability in a Special-Purpose Molecular Dynamics Supercomputer,” with lead researcher David E. Shaw, of DE Shaw Research, and team.

* “24.77 Pflops on a Gravitational Tree-Code to Simulate the Milky Way Galaxy with 18600 GPUs,” with research led by Simon Portegies Zwart and Jeroen Bédorf of the Netherland’s Leiden Observatory and team from SURFsara Amsterdam, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, RIKEN AICS, and the University of Tsukuba (Japan).