Intel just unveiled its second-generation brain-like computer chip: the Loihi 2. This processor is more man than your usual machine, as it includes pseudo-neurons made of silicon — up to a million of them. That’s nearly ten times as much as the first-generation Loihi chip, and this was ensured in part by the use of a previously unshipped, advanced process node: the Intel 4.
Loihi 2 is a research chip on neural computing, meaning that it aims to help develop more chips that behave more like a biological brain than a digital chip. This should lead to a better understanding of our complex brains and also create chips that are highly energy efficient and fast in certain tasks. Like machine learning.
Intel says the Loihi 2 is really a huge improvement over the first-generation Loihi chip, which was released in 2017.
“Loihi 2 and Lava are reaping insights from several years of collaborative research using Loihi,” says Mike Davies, director of the Intel Neural Computing Lab. “Our second generation chip greatly improves neural processing speed, programmability, and power, expanding its uses in power- and latency-constrained intelligent computing applications. We open-source Lava to meet the need for software convergence, benchmarking, and cross-platform collaboration on this. domain, and accelerate our progress toward commercial viability.”
Intel also released a new framework for Lava, as mentioned above, to provide a common basis for researchers to build faster and more efficient models.
Loihi 2 also offers a first glimpse of what’s coming for Intel gaming CPUs. Loihi 2 was built using a “pre-production version” of an Intel 4th processing node – this was previously known as 7nm Intel decided to completely rename its manufacturing roadmap.
The first gaming CPUs we’ve come to expect from Intel on the Intel 4 will be codenamed Meteor Lake.
There are reasons to be excited about Intel 4. Well, as long as you’re a hardware enthusiast. It promises 20% performance per watt on an Intel 7 node, formerly known as 10nm Enhanced SuperFin, which will be used for Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake processors.
Indeed a good start. Intel 4 is also a fully EUV-enabled process node, which means it will use the latest manufacturing machinery that money can buy in production. EUV, or Extreme Ultraviolet, is a manufacturing technology that has been on the cusp of use for years but is now finally moving from limited use cases to store management.
EUV should help reduce the complexity Intel faces in manufacturing chips, which should translate to better throughput and more consistent clocks. All of this is very useful when it comes to the end product we load onto our gaming PCs, and it can have a huge impact on performance and pricing.
So, Loihi 2 is a chip that interests a lot of people. This is not to say the least as it is seriously working to increase the number of silicon “neurons” on a single chip. It will likely find use in a larger threaded system as well, as was Loihi with Poihoki Springs or how Samsung plans to map the mind on SSD storage network. you heard me.