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eBrainII: A 3 kW Realtime Custom 3D DRAM Integrated ASIC Implementation of a Biologically Plausible Model of a Human Scale Cortex

: Stathis, D.; Sudarshan, C.; Yang, Y.; Jung, M.; Weis, C.; Hemani, A.; Lansner, A.; Wehn, N.

Fulltext ()

Journal of signal processing systems 92 (2020), No.11, pp.1323-1343
ISSN: 1939-8018
ISSN: 1939-8115
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IESE ()

The Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), like CNN/DNN and LSTM, are not biologically plausible. Despite their initial success, they cannot attain the cognitive capabilities enabled by the dynamic hierarchical associative memory systems of biological brains. The biologically plausible spiking brain models, e.g., cortex, basal ganglia, and amygdala, have a greater potential to achieve biological brain like cognitive capabilities. Bayesian Confidence Propagation Neural Network (BCPNN) is a biologically plausible spiking model of the cortex. A human-scale model of BCPNN in real-time requires 162 TFlop/s, 50 TBs of synaptic weight storage to be accessed with a bandwidth of 200 TBs. The spiking bandwidth is relatively modest at 250 GBs/s. A hand-optimized implementation of rodent scale BCPNN has been done on Tesla K80 GPUs require 3 kWs, we extrapolate from that a human scale network will require 3 MWs. These power numbers rule out such implementations for field deployment as cognition engines in embedded systems.
The key innovation that this paper reports is that it is feasible and affordable to implement real-time BCPNN as a custom tiled application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) in 28 nm technology with custom 3D DRAM - eBrainII - that consumes 3 kW for human scale and 12 watts for rodent scale. Such implementations eminently fulfill the demands for field deployment.