Brian2GeNN 1.0

We are proud to announce the release of Brian2GeNN, the Brian 2 interface to the GPU-enhanced Neuronal Network (GeNN) simulator. With this interface, a Brian 2 script (as long as it only uses supported features) can benefit from the potential performance benefits of a GPU by adding just two lines to the start of the script:

import brian2genn

Brian2GeNN can be installed from the same Anaconda repository channel as Brian itself:

conda install -c brian-team brian2genn

This installation method will also include the GeNN simulator, while an installation from PyPI (via pip install brian2genn) will require a manual installation of GeNN. See the documentation ( for more details.

Note that in all cases, users need a CUDA-capable NVIDIA GPU and a manual installation of the CUDA SDK.

The actual performance benefits of using a GPU to run the simulation depend strongly on the details of the model but can be significant. With the Brian2GeNN package, we hope to make it as easy as possible for users to try it out for themselves.

In case you run into problems with the installation of the package or with its use, please contact us at or open an issue on the Brian2GeNN bug tracker.

4 comments to Brian2GeNN 1.0

  • ruthvik vaila

    I am using recent version of PyNN with brian. I realized that my simulations are running slower. Can i use Brian2GeNN 1.0 with PyNN?

    • marcel

      currently, there is no PyNN backend for Brian 2, the existing backend is for Brian 1. It shouldn’t be too hard to update the backend for Brian 2, it’s just that so far no-one got around doing it. The Brian2GeNN package only works with Brian 2, you can therefore not use it with PyNN at the moment.


      • Dan Goodman

        On the other hand, I think there is a direct PyNN->GeNN backend, right? Could just use that. No good if you’re using extra features of Brian on top of PyNN though.

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