The vision for the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program is to develop low-power electronic neuromorphic computers that scale to biological levels.
Current computers are limited by the amount of power required to process large volumes of data. In contrast, biological neural systems, such as the brain, process large volumes of information in complex ways while consuming very little power. Power savings are achieved in neural systems by the sparse utilizations of hardware resources in time and space. Since many real-world problems are power limited and must process large volumes of data, neuromorphic computers have significant promise.
SyNAPSE supports a multidisciplinary approach coordinating aggressive technology development activities in hardware, architecture and simulation.
The initial phase of SyNAPSE developed nanometer-scale electronic synaptic components capable of varying connection strength between two neurons in a manner analogous to that seen in biological systems and simulated the utility of these synaptic components in core microcircuits that supported the overall system architecture.
Continuing efforts focus on hardware development through microcircuit development, single chip system development and multi-chip system development. In support of these hardware developments, SyNAPSE also seeks to develop increasingly capable architecture and design tools, including very large-scale computer simulations of the neuromorphic electronic systems, to inform the designers and validate hardware prior to fabrication.
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