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Event-Based Neuromorphic Systems by Rodney Douglas, Adrian Whatley, Giacomo Indiveri, Tobi Delbruck, Shih-Chii Liu

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16

Towards Large-Scale Neuromorphic Systems

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This chapter describes four example neuromorphic systems: SpiNNaker, HiAER, Neurogrid and FACETS. These systems combine subsets of the principles outlined in previous chapters to build a large-scale hardware platform for neuromorphic system engineering. Each of them represents a different point in the design space, and so it is instructive to examine the choices made in each system.

16.1  Introduction

Multichip AER can be used to construct neuromorphic systems that can scale up to millions of neurons. Part of the reason for this scalability is the evidence from biology – since biological systems have billions of neurons, the biological computational principles and communication structures must inherently be such that they can scale to systems of that size. Since neuromorphic systems emulate biological systems, we can assume that emulating biologically plausible networks is a task that will scale with the size of the network.

16.2  Large-Scale System Examples

This chapter discusses four case studies in implementing large-scale neuromorphic systems: SpiNNaker, a system from the University of Manchester; HiAER, a system from the University of California at San Diego; Neurogrid, a system designed at Stanford University; and FACETS, an EU project led by the University of Heidelberg. The four systems take very different approaches to the ...

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