Why Intel built a neuromorphic chip


Intel has made several acquisitions and revamped its roadmap for deep learning. The new portfolio extends from Knights Mill and Lake Crest (Nervana) for training neural networks to Xeons, Altera FPGAs and Movidius vision processors for running these models. (I wrote about several of these in a post last week.)

Now Intel has added another chip to the mix with the announcement of Loihi. This one, however, is a bit different. For starters, it isn’t part of the company’s AI Products Group, but rather Intel Labs, which spent about six years developing the test chip. In addition, Loihi has a completely different, “self-learning,” neuromorphic architecture with the potential to tackle a broader class of AI problems.

The concept of a computer that…

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