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Intel inks agreement with Sandia National Laboratories to explore neuromorphic computing

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As a part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Scientific Computing Research program, Intel today inked a three-year agreement with Sandia National Laboratories to explore the value of neuromorphic computing for scaled-up AI problems. Sandia will kick off its work using a 50-million-neuron Loihi-based system recently delivered to its facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As the collaboration progresses, Intel says the labs will receive systems built on the company's next-generation neuromorphic architecture. Along with Intel, researchers at IBM, HP, MIT, Purdue, and Stanford hope to leverage neuromorphic computing -- circuits that mimic the nervous system's biology -- to develop supercomputers 1,000 times more powerful than any today. Chips like Loihi excel at constraint satisfaction problems, which require evaluating a large number of potential solutions to identify the one or few that satisfy specific constraints.


EETimes - Intel Scales Neuromorphic Computer to 100 Million Neurons -

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Intel has scaled up its neuromorphic computing system by integrating 768 of its Loihi chips into a 5 rack-unit system called Pohoiki Springs. This cloud-based system will be made available to Intel's Neuromorphic Research Community (INRC) to enable research and development of larger and more complex neuromorphic algorithms. Pohoiki Springs contains the equivalent of 100 million neurons, about the same number as in the brain of a small mammal such as a mole rat or a hamster. Neuromorphic Chip Intel debuted its Loihi neuromorphic chip for research applications in 2017. It mimics the architecture of the brain, using electrical pulses known as spikes, whose timing modulates the strength of the connections between neurons.


Intel debuts Pohoiki Springs, a powerful neuromorphic research system for AI workloads

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This morning, Intel announced the general readiness of Pohoiki Springs, a powerful self-contained neuromorphic system that's about the size of five standard servers. The company says the system will be available to members of the Intel Neuromorphic Research Community via the cloud using Intel's Nx SDK and community-contributed software components, giving them a tool to scale up their neuromorphic research and explore ways to accelerate workloads that run slowly on today's conventional architectures. Intel claims Pohoiki Springs, which was announced in July 2019, is similar in neural capacity to the brain of a small mammal, with 768 Loihi chips and 100 million neurons spread across 24 Arria10 FPGA Nahuku expansion boards (containing 32 chips each) that operate at under 500 watts. This is ostensibly a step on the path to supporting larger and more sophisticated neuromorphic workloads. In fact, just this week, Intel demonstrated that the chips can be used to "teach" an AI model to distinguish among 10 different scents.