Publications / Conference Poster

Low-Power Deep Learning Inference using the SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Platform

Vineyard, Craig M.; Dellana, Ryan A.; Aimone, James B.; Rothganger, Fredrick; Severa, William M.

With the successes deep neural networks have achieved across a range of applications, researchers have been exploring computational architectures to more efficiently execute their operation. In addition to the prevalent role of graphics processing units (GPUs), many accelerator architectures have emerged. Neuromorphic is one such particular approach which takes inspiration from the brain to guide the computational principles of the architecture including varying levels of biological realism. In this paper we present results on using the SpiNNaker neuromorphic platform (48-chip model) for deep learning neural network inference. We use the Sandia National Laboratories developed Whetstone spiking deep learning library to train deep multi-layer perceptrons and convolutional neural networks suitable for the spiking substrate on the neural hardware architecture. By using the massively parallel nature of SpiNNaker, we are able to achieve, under certain network topologies, substantial network tiling and consequentially impressive inference throughput. Such high-throughput systems may have eventual application in remote sensing applications where large images need to be chipped, scanned, and processed quickly. Additionally, we explore complex topologies that push the limits of the SpiNNaker routing hardware and investigate how that impacts mapping software-implemented networks to on-hardware instantiations.