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The Blue Brain Project

Scientific area

Electrical activity of neuronal networks with morphologically-detailed neurons.

Short description

CoreNeuron supports a reduced set of the functionalities offered by the open source simulator NEURON. The software aims at supporting an efficient and scalable simulation of the electrical activity of neuronal networks that include morphologically detailed neurons. CoreNeuron has been implemented with the goal of minimising memory footprint and obtaining optimal performance, relying on the use of a single MPI process per node and 64 OpenMP threads on IBM BlueGene/Q systems.

CoreNeuronSimulation of 3 million neurons on a single IBM BlueGene/Q rack. On the left is the front view of a single column from the circuit, together with its spike activity. On the right is a top-side view of the full 3 million circuit, displaying the somas with a membrane voltage above a certain threshold.


  • 458,752 cores (1,835,008 compute threads) on BlueGene/Q (JUQUEEN)

Strong and Weak Scaling of CoreNeuron on JUQUEENStrong (left) and weak (right) scalability of CoreNeuron on JUQUEEN.

Programming language and model

  • C/C++
  • MPI, OpenMP

Tested on platforms

  • BlueGene/Q

Application developers

Fabien Delalondre, Pramod Kumbhar and Aleksandr Ovcharenko
Blue Brain Project

Michael Hines
Yale University


Fabien Delalondre

(Text and images provided by the developers, taken from the Technical Report FZJ-JSC-IB-2015-01)