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Conference Proceeding

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It is now accepted that the traditional von Neumann architecture, with processor and memory separation, is ill suited to process parallel data streams which a mammalian brain can efficiently handle. Moreover, researchers now envision computing architectures which enable cognitive processing of massive amounts of data by identifying spatio-temporal relationships in real-time and solving complex pattern recognition problems. Memristor cross-point arrays, integrated with standard CMOS technology, are expected to result in massively parallel and low-power Neuromorphic computing architectures. Recently, significant progress has been made in spiking neural networks (SNN) which emulate data processing in the cortical brain. These architectures comprise of a dense network of neurons and the synapses formed between the axons and dendrites. Further, unsupervised or supervised competitive learning schemes are being investigated for global training of the network. In contrast to a software implementation, hardware realization of these networks requires massive circuit overhead for addressing and individually updating network weights. Instead, we employ bio-inspired learning rules such as the spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) to efficiently update the network weights locally. To realize SNNs on a chip, we propose to use densely integrating mixed-signal integrate-andfire neurons (IFNs) and cross-point arrays of memristors in back-end-of-the-line (BEOL) of CMOS chips. Novel IFN circuits have been designed to drive memristive synapses in parallel while maintaining overall power efficiency (/spike/synapse), even at spike rate greater than 10 MHz. We present circuit design details and simulation results of the IFN with memristor synapses, its response to incoming spike trains and STDP learning characterization.

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Copyright 2014, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited. doi: 10.1117/12.2053359