Special Session on SpiNNaker

This Wednesday, Borys Wróbel, who is visiting us from the Evolutionary Systems Laboratory in Poznań, Poland, will take a short introductory session on the SpiNNaker platform. The session will be in E374 at 15:00.

What is SpinNNaker?

SpiNNaker is a novel computer architecture inspired by the working of the human brain.

A SpiNNaker machine is a massively parallel computing platform, targeted towards three main areas of research:

Neuroscience: Understanding how the brain works is a Grand Challenge of 21st century science. We will provide the platform to help neuroscientists to unravel the mystery that is the mind. The largest SpiNNaker machine will be capable of simulating a billion simple neurons, or millions of neurons with complex structure and internal dynamics.

Robotics: SpiNNaker is a good target for researchers in robotics, who need mobile, low power computation. A small SpiNNaker board makes it possible to simulate a network of tens of thousands of spiking neurons, process sensory input and generate motor output, all in real time and in a low power system.

Computer Science: SpiNNaker breaks the rules followed by traditional supercomputers that rely on deterministic, repeatable communications and reliable computation. SpiNNaker nodes communicate using simple messages (spikes) that are inherently unreliable. This break with determinism offers new challenges, but also the potential to discover powerful new principles of massively parallel computation.

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