Event-driven signal processing with neuromorphic computing systems

Research posted May 14, 2020 by Peter Blouw and Chris Eliasmith


Neuromorphic hardware has long promised to provide power advantages by leveraging the kind of event-driven, temporally sparse computation observed in biological neural systems. Only recently, however, has this hardware been developed to a point that allows for general purpose AI programming. In this paper, we provide an overview of tools and methods for building applications that run on neuromorphic computing devices. We then discuss reasons for observed efficiency gains in neuromorphic systems, and provide a concrete illustration of these gains by comparing conventional and neuromorphic implementations of a keyword spotting system trained on the widely used Speech Commands dataset. We show that replacing floating point operations in a conventional neural network with synaptic operations in a spiking neural network results in a roughly 4x energy reduction, with minimal performance loss.

Full paper