ECE Distinguished Lecture Series: Algorithms and Hardware Acceleration of Biologically-Inspired Spiking Neural Networks

Peng Li

Department of Electrical Engineering

Location: Virtual

Speaker: Professor Peng Li, IEEE Fellow, University of California, Santa Barbara


Spiking neural networks (SNN) are well equipped with spatiotemporal computing power and have attracted increasing attention. Moreover, recent advancements in neuromorphic computing have led to large-scale neuromorphic chips, e.g. Intel Loihi and IBM TrueNorth, with promising ultra-low energy event-driven data processing capability. Nevertheless, major challenges are yet to be conquered to make spike-based computation a competitive choice for real-world applications. In this talk, first, we will present techniques for tackling major challenges in training complex SNNs by developing biologically plausible learning mechanisms and error backpropagation (BP) operating on top of spiking discontinuities. Second, efficient FPGA spiking neural processors with integrated on-chip learning via algorithm-hardware co-optimization will be discussed. Finally, a brief overview of our more recent efforts on systolic-array SNN hardware accelerator architectures and SNN BP training with precise timing and low latency will be provided.


Peng Li received the Ph. D. degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003. He was on the faculty of Texas A&M University from August 2004 to June 2019. Since July 2019, he has been with University of California at Santa Barbara as a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

His research interests are in integrated circuits and systems, electronic design automation, brain-inspired computing, and computational brain modeling. Li’s work has been recognized by an ICCAD Ten Year Retrospective Most Influential Paper Award, an IEEE International Conference on Application-specific Systems, Architectures, and Processors (ASAP) Best Paper Award, an IEEE International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD) Best Paper Award, four IEEE/ACM Design Automation Conference (DAC) Best Paper Awards, an Honorary Mention Best Paper Award from ISCAS, an IEEE/ACM William J. McCalla ICCAD Best Paper Award, two SRC Inventor Recognition Awards, two MARCO Inventor Recognition Awards, and an NSF CAREER Award. He was the Vice President for Technical Activities of the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation from Jan. 2016 to Dec. 2017. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and has consulted for Intel and several Silicon Valley firms.

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