Biologically accurate neuron simulations are increasingly important in research related to brain activity. They are computationally intensive and feature data and task parallelism. In this paper, we present a case study for the mapping of a biologically accurate inferior-olive (InfOli), neural cell simulator on an many-core research platform. The Single-Chip Cloud Computer (SCC) is an experimental processor created by Intel Labs. The target neurons provide a major input to the cerebellum and are involved in motor skills and space perception. We exploit task-and data-partitioning, scaling the simulation over more than 40,000 neurons. The voltage-and frequency-scaling capabilities of the chip are explored, achieving more than 20% energy savings with negligible performance degradation. Four platform configurations are evaluated and a mapping with balanced workload and constant voltage and frequency is formally derived as optimal.

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14th International Conference on Embedded Computer Systems: Architectures, Modeling and Simulation, SAMOS 2014
Department of Neuroscience