China Develops ‘Darwin’ Neural Processing Unit Using ANN or Artificial Neural Network


The next big revolution in the field of electronics will be led by the Chinese who have developed ‘Darwin’. Darwin is the new age information chip that is capable of running sophisticated, intelligent algorithms on small devices in the era of “Internet of Things”.

Scientists have been able to develop a neural chip that processes the information’s much akin to biological brains, and it could lead to a big revolution in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things.

ANN or Artificial Neural Network is a data processing system much similar to the principles biological brains and is widely applied in sectors like pattern recognition, processing of signals, decision aid system, and artificial intelligence.

Spiking Neural Network is a type of information or data processing system which works on biologically-inspired ANN and is based on discrete-time spikes. Darwin is the result of the efforts of researchers from Zhejiang University and Hangzhou Dianzi University in Hangzhou, China and it is a Neural Processing Unit (NPU), a neuromorphic hardware co-processor based on Spiking Neural Networks, fabricated by standard CMOS technology. This process is much more efficient than classic ANN and gives a much better performance on power used.

The development of the Neural Processing Unit will be useful in devices that have a resource-constrained, low and embedded power source and it will enable hardware acceleration of intelligent algorithms. The Neural Processing Unit also proves the possibility of developing Spiking Neural Networks in a resource starved embedded system.  Its ability to support flexible configuration of different parameters means that it can be customized for different functionalities as configured by the user.

The authors also explained that using spikes for processing data and transmission in the same way as biological neural networks make it suitable for processing and analyzing neural signals and building brain–computer interface and them interfacing with animal or human brains.

About the author


Nitika Munshi

Nitika is an MCA graduate and works as an all-around news writer at PC-Tablet. In free time, she works on Photoshop and plays GTA V on her Xbox. A tech-enthusiast at heart, she explores ways that businesses can leverage the Internet and move their businesses to the next level.

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