The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Atomic computing - a different perspective on massively parallel problems

Reeve, Jeffrey, Brown, Andrew, Mills, Rob, Dugan, Kier and Furber, Steve (2013) Atomic computing - a different perspective on massively parallel problems At International Conference on Parallel Computing - ParCo 13, Germany. 10 - 13 Sep 2016. , pp. 334-343. (doi:10.3233/978-1-61499-381-0-334).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


As the size of parallel computing systems inexorably increases, the proportion of resource consumption (design effort, operating power, communication and calculation latency) absorbed by ‘non-computing’ tasks (communication and housekeeping) increases disproportionally. The SpiNNaker (Spiking neural net architecture) engine [1,2] sidesteps many of these issues with a novel architectural model: it is an isotropic ‘mesh’ of (ARM9) cores, connected via a hardware communication network. The topology allows uniform scalability up to a hard limit of just over a million cores, and the communications network – hardware handling packets of 72 bits – achieves a bisection bandwidth of 5 billion packets/s. The state of the machine is maintained in over 8TB of 32-bit memory, physically distributed throughout the system. There is no central processing ‘overseer’ or synchronised clock. This paper discusses opportunities and challenges in applying the SpiNNaker architecture, within neural simulation and beyond.

Microsoft Word paperV1.doc - Accepted Manuscript
Download (423kB)

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 10 September 2013
Venue - Dates: International Conference on Parallel Computing - ParCo 13, Germany, 2016-09-10 - 2016-09-13
Organisations: EEE


Local EPrints ID: 401053
PURE UUID: 2184ef43-c177-4c43-a09d-22eb2a7030cb

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Oct 2016 14:18
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 18:05

Export record



Author: Jeffrey Reeve
Author: Andrew Brown
Author: Rob Mills
Author: Kier Dugan
Author: Steve Furber

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.