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Neuromorphic Computing Will Need Partners to Break into the Datacenter

By Jeffrey Burt

May 11, 2022

The emerging field of neuromorphic processing isn’t an easy one to navigate. There are major players in the field that are leveraging their size and ample resources – the highest profile being Intel with its Loihi processors and IBM’s TrueNorth initiative – and a growing list of startups that include the likes of SynSense, Innatera Nanosystems and GrAI Matter Labs.

Included in that latter list is BrainChip, a company that has been developing its Akida chip – Akida is Greek for “spike” – and accompanying IP for more than a decade. We’ve followed BrainChip over the past few years, speaking with them in 2018 and then again two years later, and the company has proven to be adaptable in a rapidly evolving space. The initial plan was to get the commercial SoC into the market by 2019, but BrainChip extended the deadline to add the capability to run convolutional neural networks (CNNs) along with spiking neural networks (SNNs).

In January, the company announced the full commercialization of its AKD1000 platform, which includes its Mini PCIe board that leverages the Akida neural network processor. It’s a key part of BrainChip’s strategy of using the technology as reference models as it pursues partnerships with hardware and chip vendors that will incorporate it in their own designs.

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