NeuroXplorer 1.0: An Extensible Framework for Architectural Exploration with Spiking Neural Networks

Recently, both industry and academia have proposed many different neuromorphic architectures to execute applications that are designed with Spiking Neural Network (SNN). Consequently, there is a growing need for an extensible simulation framework that can perform architectural explorations with SNNs, including both platform-based design of today's hardware, and hardware-software co-design and design-technology co-optimization of the future. We present NeuroXplorer, a fast and extensible framework that is based on a generalized template for modeling a neuromorphic architecture that can be infused with the specific details of a given hardware and/or technology. NeuroXplorer can perform both low-level cycle-accurate architectural simulations and high-level analysis with data-flow abstractions. NeuroXplorer's optimization engine can incorporate hardware-oriented metrics such as energy, throughput, and latency, as well as SNN-oriented metrics such as inter-spike interval distortion and spike disorder, which directly impact SNN performance. We demonstrate the architectural exploration capabilities of NeuroXplorer through case studies with many state-of-the-art machine learning models.

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