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Primeur weekly 2016-08-08

Focus

OpenSoC Fabric to create Open Source Network-on-Chip systems for demonstration purposes ...

ExaNoDe project is looking for chiplet solutions stacked on an active silicon interposer ...

Quantum computing

New quantum computer module sets stage for general-purpose quantum computers ...

Diamond-based light sources will lay a foundation for quantum communications of the future ...

Focus on Europe

IBM scientists imitate the functionality of neurons with a phase-change device ...

European Commission issues booklet on e-Infrastructures as the foundation of the European Open Science Cloud ...

Middleware

Bright Computing releases Version 7.3 of Bright Cluster Manager and Bright OpenStack ...

Hardware

HiPEAC community delivers video processing with up to eight times faster edge detection and 50 times faster motion detection ...

AMD open sources professional GPU-optimized photorealistic renderer ...

Curtiss-Wright collaborates with Dolphin Interconnect Solutions to dramatically increase HPEC system fabric speed ...

New UK consortium to explore use of magnetic skyrmions in data storage ...

Smallest photodetector worldwide for optical data transmission ...

Cray reports second quarter 2016 financial results and updates 2016 outlook ...

Panasas introduces ActiveStor 20 ...

World's Highest Density Deep Learning Supercomputer in a Box by Joint Creators Orange and CoCoLink Korea ...

Applications

Rail researchers select liquid cooled computing for Big Data risk analysis ...

SC16 selects industry veteran Katharine Frase as keynote speaker ...

University of Kentucky biology graduate student wins prestigious Blue Waters Fellowship ...

Partnership between University of Maryland and U.S. Army Research Laboratory harnesses the power of defense supercomputing to create opportunities for scientific discovery ...

Personalized virtual brains: Big data - big theory ...

Analysis of metastatic prostate cancers suggests treatment options ...

Penn researchers improve computer modeling for designing drug-delivery nanocarriers ...

The Cloud

5.3 million euro HNSciCloud tender for Hybrid Cloud Platform released ...

IBM captures leadership position in hybrid Cloud environment adoption, according to research firm ...

IBM named leader in private Cloud adoption by market research firm ...

IBM scientists imitate the functionality of neurons with a phase-change device

3 Aug 2016 Zurich - IBM scientists have created randomly spiking neurons using phase-change materials to store and process data. This demonstration marks a significant step forward in the development of energy-efficient, ultra-dense integrated neuromorphic technologies for applications in cognitive computing.

Inspired by the way the biological brain functions, scientists have theorized for decades that it should be possible to imitate the versatile computational capabilities of large populations of neurons. However, doing so at densities and with a power budget that would be comparable to those seen in biology has been a significant challenge, until now.

"We have been researching phase-change materials for memory applications for over a decade, and our progress in the past 24 months has been remarkable", stated IBM Fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou. "In this period, we have discovered and published new memory techniques, including projected memory, stored 3 bits per cell in phase-change memory for the first time, and now are demonstrating the powerful capabilities of phase-change-based artificial neurons, which can perform various computational primitives such as data-correlation detection and unsupervised learning at high speeds using very little energy."

The results of this research appeared on the cover of the peer-reviewed journalNature Nanotechnology.

The artificial neurons designed by IBM scientists in Zurich consist of phase-change materials, including germanium antimony telluride, which exhibit two stable states, an amorphous one - without a clearly defined structure - and a crystalline one - with structure. These materials are the basis of re-writable Blu-ray discs. However, the artificial neurons do not store digital information; they are analogue, just like the synapses and neurons in our biological brain.

In the published demonstration, the team applied a series of electrical pulses to the artificial neurons, which resulted in the progressive crystallization of the phase-change material, ultimately causing the neuron to fire. In neuroscience, this function is known as the integrate-and-fire property of biological neurons. This is the foundation for event-based computation and, in principle, is similar to how our brain triggers a response when we touch something hot.

Exploiting this integrate-and-fire property, even a single neuron can be used to detect patterns and discover correlations in real-time streams of event-based data. For example, in the Internet of Things, sensors can collect and analyze volumes of weather data collected at the edge for faster forecasts. The artificial neurons could be used to detect patterns in financial transactions to find discrepancies or use data from social media to discover new cultural trends in real time. Large populations of these high-speed, low-energy nano-scale neurons could also be used in neuromorphic coprocessors with co-located memory and processing units.

IBM scientists have organized hundreds of artificial neurons into populations and used them to represent fast and complex signals. Moreover, the artificial neurons have been shown to sustain billions of switching cycles, which would correspond to multiple years of operation at an update frequency of 100 Hz. The energy required for each neuron update was less than five picojoule and the average power less than 120 microwatts - for comparison, 60 million microwatts power a 60 watt lightbulb.

"Populations of stochastic phase-change neurons, combined with other nanoscale computational elements such as artificial synapses, could be a key enabler for the creation of a new generation of extremely dense neuromorphic computing systems", stated Tomas Tuma, a co-author of the paper.

This paper titled "Stochastic phase-change neurons" is authored by Tomas Tuma, Angeliki Pantazi, Manuel Le Gallo, Abu Sebastian and Evangelos Eleftheriou. It appears inNature Nanotechnology, doi:10.1038/nnano.2016.70.

Source: IBM

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2016-08-08

Focus

OpenSoC Fabric to create Open Source Network-on-Chip systems for demonstration purposes ...

ExaNoDe project is looking for chiplet solutions stacked on an active silicon interposer ...

Quantum computing

New quantum computer module sets stage for general-purpose quantum computers ...

Diamond-based light sources will lay a foundation for quantum communications of the future ...

Focus on Europe

IBM scientists imitate the functionality of neurons with a phase-change device ...

European Commission issues booklet on e-Infrastructures as the foundation of the European Open Science Cloud ...

Middleware

Bright Computing releases Version 7.3 of Bright Cluster Manager and Bright OpenStack ...

Hardware

HiPEAC community delivers video processing with up to eight times faster edge detection and 50 times faster motion detection ...

AMD open sources professional GPU-optimized photorealistic renderer ...

Curtiss-Wright collaborates with Dolphin Interconnect Solutions to dramatically increase HPEC system fabric speed ...

New UK consortium to explore use of magnetic skyrmions in data storage ...

Smallest photodetector worldwide for optical data transmission ...

Cray reports second quarter 2016 financial results and updates 2016 outlook ...

Panasas introduces ActiveStor 20 ...

World's Highest Density Deep Learning Supercomputer in a Box by Joint Creators Orange and CoCoLink Korea ...

Applications

Rail researchers select liquid cooled computing for Big Data risk analysis ...

SC16 selects industry veteran Katharine Frase as keynote speaker ...

University of Kentucky biology graduate student wins prestigious Blue Waters Fellowship ...

Partnership between University of Maryland and U.S. Army Research Laboratory harnesses the power of defense supercomputing to create opportunities for scientific discovery ...

Personalized virtual brains: Big data - big theory ...

Analysis of metastatic prostate cancers suggests treatment options ...

Penn researchers improve computer modeling for designing drug-delivery nanocarriers ...

The Cloud

5.3 million euro HNSciCloud tender for Hybrid Cloud Platform released ...

IBM captures leadership position in hybrid Cloud environment adoption, according to research firm ...

IBM named leader in private Cloud adoption by market research firm ...