DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/SC.2016.11
This paper describes the hardware and software ecosystem encompassing the brain-inspired TrueNorth processor – a 70mW reconfigurable silicon chip with 1 million neurons, 256 million synapses, and 4096 parallel and distributed neural cores. For systems, we present a scale-out system loosely coupling 16 single-chip boards and a scale-up system tightly integrating 16 chips in a 4 × 4 configuration by exploiting TrueNorth's native tiling. For software, we present an end-to-end ecosystem consisting of a simulator, a programming language, an integrated programming environment, a library of algorithms and applications, firmware, tools for deep learning, a teaching curriculum, and cloud enablement. For the scale-up systems we summarize our approach to physical placement of neural network, to reduce intra- and inter-chip network traffic. The ecosystem is in use at over 30 universities and government/corporate labs. Our platform is a substrate for a spectrum of applications from mobile and embedded computing to cloud and supercomputers.