Intel’s 8 Million-Neuron Neuromorphic System

On July 15, Intel announced Pohoiki Beach, a codenamed for an 8 million-neuron neuromorphic system comprising of multiple Nahuku boards and contains 64 Loihi chips. 

Intel’s Nahuku boards, each of which contains 8 to 32 Intel Loihi neuromorphic chips, interfaced to an Intel Arria 10 FPGA development kit.  Loihi is Intel’s first neuromorphic research chip, for the development of neuromorphic hardware which was released in 2017.

Pohoiki Beach can be up to 1,000 times faster and 10,000 times more efficiently than CPUs for specialized applications like sparse coding, graph search and constraint satisfaction problems.

Intel’s Loihi is a brain-inspired research chip which works on the principles found in biological brains to computer architectures. This 64-chip neuromorphic system is now available to the broader research community. 

Importance of Pohoiki Beach

Researchers can now efficiently scale up novel neural-inspired algorithms — such as sparse coding, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), and path planning — that can learn and adapt based on data inputs. Pohoiki Beach represents a major milestone in Intel’s neuromorphic research, laying the foundation for Intel Labs to scale the architecture to 100 million neurons later this year.

“We are impressed with the early results demonstrated as we scale Loihi to create more powerful neuromorphic systems. Pohoiki Beach will now be available to more than 60 ecosystem partners, who will use this specialized system to solve complex, compute-intensive problems.”
–Rich Uhlig, managing director of Intel Labs

The Pohoiki Beach neuromorphic system demonstrates the benefits of a specialized architecture for emerging applications, including some of the computational problems hardest for the internet of things (IoT) and autonomous devices to support. By using this type of specialized system, as opposed to general-purpose computing technologies, we can expect to realize orders of magnitude gains in speed and efficiency for a range of real-world applications, from autonomous vehicles to smart homes to cybersecurity.

Later this year, Intel will introduce an even larger Loihi system named Pohoiki Springs, which will build on the Pohoiki Beach architecture to deliver an unprecedented level of performance and efficiency for scaled-up neuromorphic workloads.

For more information visit: Intel


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