SpinLink: An interconnection system for the SpiNNaker biologically inspired multi-computer


SpiNNaker is a large-scale biologically-inspired multi-computer designed to model very heavily distributed problems, with the flagship application being the simulation of large neural networks. The project goal is to have one million processors included in a single machine, which consequently span many thousands of circuit boards. A computer of this scale imposes large communication requirements between these boards, and requires an extensible method of connecting to external equipment such as sensors, actuators and visualisation systems. This paper describes two systems that can address each of these problems.Firstly, SpinLink is a proposed method of connecting the SpiNNaker boards by using time-division multiplexing (TDM) to allow eight SpiNNaker links to run at maximum bandwidth between two boards. SpinLink will be deployed on Spartan-6 FPGAs and uses a locally generated clock that can be paused while the asynchronous links from SpiNNaker are sending data, thus ensuring a fast and glitch-free response. Secondly, SpiNNterceptor is a separate system, currently in the early stages of design, that will build upon SpinLink to address the important external I/O issues faced by SpiNNaker. Specifically, spare resources in the FPGAs will be used to implement the debugging and I/O interfacing features of SpiNNterceptor

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Southampton (e-Prints Soton)

Last time updated on 21/03/2013

This paper was published in Southampton (e-Prints Soton).

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