Neuromorphic silicon neuron circuits

Giacomo Indiveri, Bernabé Linares-Barranco, Tara Julia Hamilton, André van Schaik, Ralph Etienne-Cummings, Tobi Delbruck, Shih Chii Liu, Philipp Häfliger, Sylvie Renaud, Johannes Schemmel, Gert Cauwenberghs, John Arthur, Kai Hynna, Fopefolu Folowosele, Sylvain Saighi, Teresa Serrano-Gotarredona, Jayawan Wijekoon, Yingxue Wang, Kwabena Boahen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hardware implementations of spiking neurons can be extremely useful for a large variety of applications, ranging from high-speed modeling of large-scale neural systems to real-time behaving systems, to bidirectional brain-machine interfaces. The specific circuit solutions used to implement silicon neurons depend on the application requirements. In this paper we describe the most common building blocks and techniques used to implement these circuits, and present an overview of a wide range of neuromorphic silicon neurons, which implement different computational models, ranging from biophysically realistic and conductance-based Hodgkin-Huxley models to bi-dimensional generalized adaptive integrate and fire models. We compare the different design methodologies used for each silicon neuron design described, and demonstrate their features with experimental results, measured from a wide range of fabricated VLSI chips.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
Number of pages22
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2011


  • Adaptive exponential
  • Analog VLSI
  • Circuit
  • Conductance based
  • Integrate and fire
  • Log-domain
  • Spiking
  • Subthreshold


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