OSPEN: an open source platform for emulating neuromorphic hardware

Arfan Ghani, Thomas Dowrick, Liam J. McDaid

Abstract


This paper demonstrates a framework that entails a bottom-up approach to accelerate research, development, and verification of neuro-inspired sensing devices for real-life applications. Previous work in neuromorphic engineering mostly considered application-specific designs which is a strong limitation for researchers to develop novel applications and emulate the true behaviour of neuro-inspired systems. Hence to enable the fully parallel brain-like computations, this paper proposes a methodology where a spiking neuron model was emulated in software and electronic circuits were then implemented and characterized. The proposed approach offers a unique perspective whereby experimental measurements taken from a fabricated device allowing empirical models to be developed. This technique acts as a bridge between the theoretical and practical aspects of neuro-inspired devices. It is shown through software simulations and empirical modelling that the proposed technique is capable of replicating neural dynamics and post-synaptic potentials. Retrospectively, the proposed framework offers a first step towards open-source neuro-inspired hardware for a range of applications such as healthcare, applied machine learning and the internet of things (IoT).

Keywords


Artificial intelligence chips; Chip design; Neural computing; Open-source hardware; Silicon neurons; Spike response model; Spiking neurons

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DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijres.v12.i1.pp1-8

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