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A 4-fJ/spike artificial neuron in 65 nm CMOS technology

Publié le 29 mars 2018
A 4-fJ/spike artificial neuron in 65 nm CMOS technology
Sourikopoulos I., Hedayat S., Loyez C., Danneville F., Hoel V., Mercier E., Cappy A.
Source-TitleFrontiers in Neuroscience
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Lille, USR 3380 - IRCICA, Lille, France, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Lille, ISEN, Université Valenciennes, UMR 8520 - IEMN, Lille, France, Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, Grenoble, France, CEA, LETI, MINATEC Campus, Grenoble, France
As Moore's law reaches its end, traditional computing technology based on the Von Neumann architecture is facing fundamental limits. Among them is poor energy efficiency. This situation motivates the investigation of different processing information paradigms, such as the use of spiking neural networks (SNNs), which also introduce cognitive characteristics. As applications at very high scale are addressed, the energy dissipation needs to be minimized. This effort starts from the neuron cell. In this context, this paper presents the design of an original artificial neuron, in standard 65 nm CMOS technology with optimized energy efficiency. The neuron circuit response is designed as an approximation of the Morris-Lecar theoretical model. In order to implement the non-linear gating variables, which control the ionic channel currents, transistors operating in deep subthreshold are employed. Two different circuit variants describing the neuron model equations have been developed. The first one features spike characteristics, which correlate well with a biological neuron model. The second one is a simplification of the first, designed to exhibit higher spiking frequencies, targeting large scale bio-inspired information processing applications. The most important feature of the fabricated circuits is the energy efficiency of a few femtojoules per spike, which improves prior state-of-the-art by two to three orders of magnitude. This performance is achieved by minimizing two key parameters: the supply voltage and the related membrane capacitance. Meanwhile, the obtained standby power at a resting output does not exceed tens of picowatts. The two variants were sized to 200 and 35 ?m2 with the latter reaching a spiking output frequency of 26 kHz. This performance level could address various contexts, such as highly integrated neuro-processors for robotics, neuroscience or medical . © 2017 Sourikopoulos, Hedayat, Loyez, Danneville, Hoel, Mercier and Cappy.
Analog VLSI, Artificial neuron, CMOS, Morris-Lecar neuron, Spiking neural network, Subthreshold
Article, artificial neural network, connectome, electric potential, information processing, mathematical computing, mathematical model, membrane potential, nerve cell network, practice guideline, spiking neural network, theoretical model
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