A Summating, Exponentially-Decaying CMOS Synapse for Spiking Neural Systems

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16 (NIPS 2003)

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Z. Shi, Timothy Horiuchi


Synapses are a critical element of biologically-realistic, spike-based neu- ral computation, serving the role of communication, computation, and modification. Many different circuit implementations of synapse func- tion exist with different computational goals in mind. In this paper we describe a new CMOS synapse design that separately controls quiescent leak current, synaptic gain, and time-constant of decay. This circuit im- plements part of a commonly-used kinetic model of synaptic conduc- tance. We show a theoretical analysis and experimental data for proto- types fabricated in a commercially-available 1.5µm CMOS process.