Manchester, Dresden, Globalfoundries produce SpiNNaker2 chip

July 27, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Manchester, Dresden, Globalfoundries produce SpiNNaker2 chip
The SpiNNaker neural networking platform has its second chip iteration, designed in 22nm FDSOI manufacturing process of foundry chip maker Globalfoundries Inc/.

The SpiNNaker2 – codenamed JIB2 – is a spiking neural networking chip intended to be used in 70,000 chip, 10 million ARM core 'SpiNNcloud' system at Technische Universität Dresden. It will also be offered for sale through a startup company in Dresden called SpiNNcloud.

A roadmap shown in 2018 called for JIB2 to contain 144 Cortex-M4F cores plus power management, low-swing serial I/O, four LPDDR4 memory interfaces connecting to 8Gbytes of LPDDR4 memory. JIB2 is designed in 22FDX from Globalfoundries, a 22nm fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) manufacturing process.

The SpiNNaker2 chip was realized using the adaptive body biasing IP platform (ABX) of Racyics GmbH. This enables JIB2 to operate at the minimum energy point of the processing elements at 0.5V with additional support of dynamic voltage and frequency scaling for instantaneous high performance on demand.

The DVFS was targeted at taking JIB2 from ultralow power performance at 0.45V and 100MHz clock frequency through 250MHz at 0.5V and up to 500MHz at 0.6V.

The complete chip design was done using makeChip, a turnkey hosted design environment for 22FDX offered by Racyics. This approach was key for the academic group to close the so-called lab-to-fab gap and to realize a complex system-on-chip for volume production.

The SpiNNaker2 system is hybridized development of the SpiNNaker unit in Manchester (see SpiNNaker neuromorphic supercomputer reaches one million cores). It supports event-based real-time processing of both classic AI and upcoming sparse, event-based compute. It has been developed within the European Union flagship project “Human Brain Project” (https://www.humanbrainproject.eu).

Next: Professors Furber and Mayr


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