A Silicon Axon

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 7 (NIPS 1994)

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Bradley Minch, Paul Hasler, Chris Diorio, Carver Mead


We present a silicon model of an axon which shows promise as a building block for pulse-based neural computations involving cor(cid:173) relations of pulses across both space and time. The circuit shares a number of features with its biological counterpart including an excitation threshold, a brief refractory period after pulse comple(cid:173) tion, pulse amplitude restoration, and pulse width restoration. We provide a simple explanation of circuit operation and present data from a chip fabricated in a standard 2Jlm CMOS process through the MOS Implementation Service (MOSIS). We emphasize the ne(cid:173) cessity of the restoration of the width of the pulse in time for stable propagation in axons.