Bottom-Up and Top-Down Approaches for the Design of Neuromorphic Processing Systems: Tradeoffs and Synergies Between Natural and Artificial Intelligence

C. Frenkel*, David Bol, Giacomo Indiveri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

While Moore’s law has driven exponential computing power expectations, its nearing end calls for new avenues for improving the overall system performance. One of these avenues is the exploration of alternative brain-inspired computing architectures that aim at achieving the flexibility and computational efficiency of biological neural processing systems. Within this context, neuromorphic engineering represents a paradigm shift in computing based on the implementation of spiking neural network architectures in which processing and memory are tightly colocated. In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of the field, highlighting the different levels of granularity at which this paradigm shift is realized and comparing design approaches that focus on replicating natural intelligence (bottom-up) versus those that aim at solving practical artificial intelligence applications (top-down). First, we present the analog, mixed-signal, and digital circuit design styles, identifying the boundary between processing and memory through time multiplexing, in-memory computation, and novel devices. Then, we highlight the key tradeoffs for each of the bottom-up and top-down design approaches, survey their silicon implementations, and carry out detailed comparative analyses to extract design guidelines. Finally, we identify necessary synergies and missing elements required to achieve a competitive advantage for neuromorphic systems over conventional machine-learning accelerators in edge computing applications and outline the key ingredients for a framework toward neuromorphic intelligence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-652
Number of pages30
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Volume111
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.

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