Efficient neuron architecture for FPGA-based spiking neural networks

Lei Wan, Yuling Luo, Shuxiang Song, Jim Harkin, Junxiu Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
189 Downloads (Pure)


Scalability is a key challenge for digital spiking neural networks (SNN) in hardware. This paper proposes an efficient neuron architecture (ENA) to reduce the silicon area occupied by neurons. As the computation resource (e.g. DSP in FPGAs) is limited for hardware SNNs, the proposed ENA employs a sharing mechanism of computing component at two levels (synapse and neuron) to reduce the occupied resources. The neuron computing core is developed as the key component for the neuron model computation, which is shared by multiple synapses within one neuron cell; and also the computing component of one neuron is shared by several neurons within one layer of the SNN system. A test bench experiment is designed for a Xilinx FPGA device and the results demonstrate that the proposed ENA occupies relatively low hardware resources and has the capability to scale for large SNN implementations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherInstitution of Engineering and Technology
Number of pages6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 May 2016
Event27th Irish Signals and Systems Conference (ISSC) -
Duration: 5 May 2016 → …


Conference27th Irish Signals and Systems Conference (ISSC)
Period5/05/16 → …


  • field programmable gate arrays
  • neural nets
  • ENA
  • FPGA-based spiking neural networks
  • Xilinx FPGA device
  • computing component sharing mechanism
  • digital SNN
  • digital spiking neural networks
  • efficient neuron architecture
  • hardware SNNs
  • neuron computing core
  • neuron model computation
  • silicon area reduction
  • Computational modeling
  • Computer architecture
  • Hardware
  • Integrated circuit modeling
  • Neurons
  • Random access memory
  • Topology
  • FPGA implementation
  • efficient design
  • sharing mechanism
  • spiking neural networks


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