Paul Merolla

I am a research scientist in IBM's Brain-Inspired Computing group (2010 - present), and before that, I was a postdoctoral scholar in Stanford's Brains in Silicon lab (2006 - 2010). I received my PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Bioengineering (2006) and a BS from the University of Virginia in Electrical Engineering (2000).

My research focus is to build more intelligent computers, drawing inspiration from neuroscience and machine learning.  I have been a lead designer on over 10 neuromorphic chips, including Neurogrid (a sixteen-chip system that emulates one-million analog neurons in real-time) and more recently, IBM's cognitive computing chips as part of the DARPA SyNAPSE program.  While my main expertise is designing low-power neural hardware, my passion is developing algorithms for these chips aimed at solving real world problems.

Recent News

TrueNorth Chip
August 8th, 2014: Our latest chip, dubbed TrueNorth, was featured on the cover of Science.
TrueNorth's architecture is inspired by the structure and function of the brain. The chip is a 64 by 64 array of lightweight neurosynaptic cores, where each core combines neurons (computation), synapses and neuron states (memory), and a spike router (communication). With 5.4 billion transistors (one of the largest chips built to date), the chip has 1 million neurons and 256 million synapses, runs in real time, and consumes less than 100mW of power. I was one of the lead chip architects.
Read the Science article (behind paywall) or pre-published version (no paywall), and the feature. Also listen to the podcast.

Neurogrid die
April 26th, 2014: Paper on Neurogrid is out in IEEE Proceedings. Shown is a photograph of a Neurocore chip.
Neurogrid is an analog neuromorphic supercomputer, made of sixteen Neurocore chips connected in a tree topology. I co-led the design, along with John Arthur, Rodrigo Alvarez, and Kwabena Boahen.

Selected Publications

[2014] Merolla. P, Arthur. JV, Alvarez-Icaza. R, Cassidy. A, Sawada. J, Akopyan. F, Jackson. B, et al., “A million spiking-neuron integrated circuit with a scalable communication network and interface”, Science, 668-73, August 8th, 2014. Cover with Feature Story.  Bibtex

[2014] Benjamin. BV, Gao. P, McQuinn. E, Choudhary. S, Chandrasekaran. A, Bussat. JM, Alvarez. R, Arthur. JV, Merolla. P, and Boahen. K, “Neurogrid: A Mixed-Analog-Digital Multichip System for Large-Scale Neural Simulations”, Proceedings of the IEEE, vol 102, no 5, pp 699--716, March 2014. Bibtex

[2014] Merolla. P, Arthur. J, Alvarez. R, Bussat. JM, and Boahen. K, “A Multicast Tree Router For Multichip Neuromorphic Systems”, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, vol 61, no 3, pp 820-833, March 2014. Bibtex

[2011] Merolla. P, Arthur. J, Akopyan. F, Imam. N, Manohar. R, and Modha. D, “A Digital Neurosynaptic Core using Embedded Crossbar Memory with 45pJ per spike in 45nm”, IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference, September 2011. Bibtex

[2010] Merolla. P, Ursell. T, and Arthur. JV, “The Thermodynamic Temperature of a Rhythmic Spiking Network”, ArXiv, September, 2010. Bibtex