K supercomputer runs largest neural simulation to date


RIKEN, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, and Forschungszentrum Jülich researchers have used Japan’s K computer to run the longest brain simulation to date.With 705,024 processor cores, running at speeds of over 10 petaflops, it is ranked the world’s fourth-most powerful computer. Using Neural Simulation Technology software and 92,944 of its processors, the computer replicated one second of brain activity across 1.73 billion nerve cells and 10.4 trillion synapses.  This represents one per cent of the brain’s neuronal network and took the K computer 40 minutes.

“The new result paves the way for combined simulations of the brain and the musculoskeletal system using the K computer,” said Kenji Doya of the Okinawa Institute of Science of Technology,. “These results demonstrate that neuroscience can make full use of the existing peta-scale supercomputers.”

“If peta-scale computers like the K computer are capable of representing one per cent of the network of a human brain today, then we know that simulating the whole brain at the level of the individual nerve cell and its synapses will be possible with exa-scale computers hopefully available within the next decade,” said project leader Markus Diesmann.


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