A neuromorphic hardware architecture using the Neural Engineering Framework for pattern recognition

We present a hardware architecture that uses the Neural Engineering Framework (NEF) to implement large-scale neural networks on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) for performing pattern recognition in real time. NEF is a framework that is capable of synthesising large-scale cognitive systems from subnetworks... We will first present the architecture of the proposed neural network implemented using fixed-point numbers and demonstrate a routine that computes the decoding weights by using the online pseudoinverse update method (OPIUM) in a parallel and distributed manner. The proposed system is efficiently implemented on a compact digital neural core. This neural core consists of 64 neurons that are instantiated by a single physical neuron using a time-multiplexing approach. As a proof of concept, we combined 128 identical neural cores together to build a handwritten digit recognition system using the MNIST database and achieved a recognition rate of 96.55%. The system is implemented on a state-of-the-art FPGA and can process 5.12 million digits per second. The architecture is not limited to handwriting recognition, but is generally applicable as an extremely fast pattern recognition processor for various kinds of patterns such as speech and images. read more

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