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Issue No. 12 - Dec. (2013 vol. 24)
ISSN: 1045-9219
pp: 2451-2461
Snaider Carrillo , University of Ulster, Londonderry
Jim Harkin , University of Ulster, Londonderry
Liam J. McDaid , University of Ulster, Londonderry
Fearghal Morgan , National University of Ireland, Galway
Sandeep Pande , National University of Ireland, Galway
Seamus Cawley , National University of Ireland, Galway
Brian McGinley , National University of Ireland, Galway
Spiking neural networks (SNNs) attempt to emulate information processing in the mammalian brain based on massively parallel arrays of neurons that communicate via spike events. SNNs offer the possibility to implement embedded neuromorphic circuits, with high parallelism and low power consumption compared to the traditional von Neumann computer paradigms. Nevertheless, the lack of modularity and poor connectivity shown by traditional neuron interconnect implementations based on shared bus topologies is prohibiting scalable hardware implementations of SNNs. This paper presents a novel hierarchical network-on-chip (H-NoC) architecture for SNN hardware, which aims to address the scalability issue by creating a modular array of clusters of neurons using a hierarchical structure of low and high-level routers. The proposed H-NoC architecture incorporates a spike traffic compression technique to exploit SNN traffic patterns and locality between neurons, thus reducing traffic overhead and improving throughput on the network. In addition, adaptive routing capabilities between clusters balance local and global traffic loads to sustain throughput under bursting activity. Analytical results show the scalability of the proposed H-NoC approach under different scenarios, while simulation and synthesis analysis using 65-nm CMOS technology demonstrate high-throughput, low-cost area, and power consumption per cluster, respectively.
Neural networks, Computer architecture, Microprocessors, On chip architectures, Network topology

S. Carrillo et al., "Scalable Hierarchical Network-on-Chip Architecture for Spiking Neural Network Hardware Implementations," in IEEE Transactions on Parallel & Distributed Systems, vol. 24, no. 12, pp. 2451-2461, 2013.
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