The Intel Neuromorphic DNS Challenge

A critical enabler for progress in neuromorphic computing research is the ability to transparently evaluate different neuromorphic solutions on important tasks and to compare them to state-of-the-art conventional solutions. The Intel Neuromorphic Deep Noise Suppression Challenge (Intel N-DNS Challenge), inspired by the Microsoft DNS Challenge, tackles a ubiquitous and commercially relevant task: real-time audio denoising. Audio denoising is likely to reap the benefits of neuromorphic computing due to its low-bandwidth, temporal nature and its relevance for low-power devices. The Intel N-DNS Challenge consists of two tracks: a simulation-based algorithmic track to encourage algorithmic innovation, and a neuromorphic hardware (Loihi 2) track to rigorously evaluate solutions. For both tracks, we specify an evaluation methodology based on energy, latency, and resource consumption in addition to output audio quality. We make the Intel N-DNS Challenge dataset scripts and evaluation code freely accessible, encourage community participation with monetary prizes, and release a neuromorphic baseline solution which shows promising audio quality, high power efficiency, and low resource consumption when compared to Microsoft NsNet2 and a proprietary Intel denoising model used in production. We hope the Intel N-DNS Challenge will hasten innovation in neuromorphic algorithms research, especially in the area of training tools and methods for real-time signal processing. We expect the winners of the challenge will demonstrate that for problems like audio denoising, significant gains in power and resources can be realized on neuromorphic devices available today compared to conventional state-of-the-art solutions.

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