3. Building SpiNNaker Machines

By Luis A. Plana, University of Manchester, UK | Steve Temple, MindTrace, UK | Jonathan Heathcote, BBC Research and Development, UK | Dave Clark, University of Manchester, UK | Jeffrey Pepper, University of Manchester, UK | Jim Garside, University of Manchester, UK | Steve Furber, University of Manchester, UK

Published: 31 Mar 2020

© 2020 Luis A. Plana | Steve Temple | Jonathan Heathcote | Dave Clark | Jeffrey Pepper | Jim Garside | Steve Furber


The 40 person-year effort required to develop the SpiNNaker chip constituted only the first step in the path to build a platform to help understand how the human brain works. The next step was to make SpiNNaker chips work together in a massive scale to simulate very large spiking neural networks. The initial target was to simulate a billion neurons, around 1% of the human brain, in real time. Our estimates suggested that it would require one million processing cores, that is, over 57,000 SpiNNaker chips.