Hardware

 

 

Available systems

The current BrainScaleS-2 system is based on physical (analogue or mixed-signal) emulations of "point neurons", which can be combined to form structured neurons and features programmable plasticity models via its PPU (programmable plasticity unit, a custom CPU). It runs at 1000x biological real time speed and is available as single-chip sytem using PyNN as programming model for batch and (since October 2021) also interactive use in the EBRAINS collaboratory. Start here.

The (legacy) BrainScaleS-1 system is based on physical (analogue or mixed-signal) emulations of neuron, synapse and plasticity models with digital connectivity, running up to ten thousand times faster than real time.

The BrainScaleS system (NM-PM-1) contains 20 8-inch silicon wafers in 180 nm process technology. Each wafer incorporates 50 x 106 plastic synapses and 200,000 biologically realistic neurons. The system does not execute pre-programmed code but evolves according to the physical properties of the electronic devices, running at up to 10 thousand times faster than real time.

The SpiNNaker system is based on numerical models running in real time on custom digital multicore chips using the ARM architecture. The SpiNNaker system (NM-MC-1) provides almost 30,000 custom digital chips, each with eighteen cores and a shared local 128 Mbyte RAM, giving a total of over 500,000 cores.

A single chip can simulate 16,000 neurons with eight million plastic synapses running in real time with an energy budget of 1W.

The SpiNNaker system is accessible for batch and interacctive use. Start here.