Intel’s Neuromorphic Loihi Processor Scales to 8M Neurons, 64 Cores

Intel has announced a significant advance for its neuromorphic research processor, codenamed Loihi.

The company has now scaled up its Loihi implementation to the 64-processor level, allowing it to create a system with more than 8M neurons.

The basic Loihi processor contains 128 neuromorphic cores, three Lakefield CPU cores, and an off-chip communication network.

In theory, Loihi can scale all the way up to 4,096 on-chip cores and 16,384 chips, though Intel has said it has no plans to commercialize a design this large.

“With the Loihi chip we’ve been able to demonstrate 109 times lower power consumption running a real-time deep learning benchmark compared to a GPU, and 5 times lower power consumption compared to specialized IoT inference hardware,” said Chris Eliasmith, co-CEO of Applied Brain Research and professor at University of Waterloo.

We’ve covered the advances and research in neuromorphic computing for several years at ET. The work being done on these CPUs is closely related to the work that’s being conducted in AI and machine intelligence overall, but neuromorphic computing isn’t just concerned with how to run AI / ML workloads efficiently on existing chips.

Transistors are not equivalent to neurons and the spiking neural network model that Loihi uses for transmitting information across its own processor cores is intended to be closer to the biological processes humans and other animals use than traditional silicon.

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IBM closes $34 billion Red Hat acquisition: Now it’s time to deliver

IBM has closed its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, vowed to keep its new unit independent, deliver innovative hybrid cloud stacks and grow.

Here are the key items to watch now that Red Hat is part of IBM. Can Red Hat growth continue and grow IBM overall? IBM’s cloud revenue is 25% of total sales on a run rate of $19 billion, but Red Hat is small with fiscal 2019 sales of $3.4 billion, up 15% from a year ago.

Although Red Hat’s revenue profile is fairly substantial with strong levels of profitability, we note that purchase accounting treatment of the target company’s deferred revenue will make IBM unable recognize a meaningful portion of Red Hat’s deferred revenue as it converts to actual revenue; this is while IBM will have to incur 100% of Red Hat’s operating expense.

Will Red Hat truly remain neutral and independent? IBM buying Red Hat is probably the best outcome if you believe in open source.

“Independence is essential to ensuring Red Hat partners will have an equal shot. Red Hat and IBM feels strongly about that,” he said.

Is IBM-Red Hat a multi-cloud point guard? IBM reiterated that with Red Hat it will continue to expand partnerships with all the leading cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Alibaba.

Will developers stick with Red Hat? It is worth noting that Red Hat and IBM spent a lot of digital ink on what the deal means for developers.

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How will machine learning shape the future of writing?

Machine learning is a widely used application of AI that allows programmes to learn from extensive datasets without being programmed manually.

It can replace, as the paragraph itself implies, certain writing tasks being automated, leading to job loss for low-cost/low-skilled writers.

Imagine this: it takes almost half a lifetime for a human being to read enough to be able to pick up the art of writing and then actually write and get published, let alone be exceptionally adept in it.

Human labour has value, and that is why we still patronise such labour.

If you cannot differentiate the text written by a human author from that written by a machine, would you be willing to pay for it as much as you did before?

Human creativity, apart from following others and learning certain strategies, also requires raw feelings and emotions.

The only hope I see for the near future is collaboration between machines and human writers where, rather than competing with each other, both would complement each other’s skills and continue to produce great reads.

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