Face classification using electronic synapses

Nat Commun. 2017 May 12:8:15199. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15199.


Conventional hardware platforms consume huge amount of energy for cognitive learning due to the data movement between the processor and the off-chip memory. Brain-inspired device technologies using analogue weight storage allow to complete cognitive tasks more efficiently. Here we present an analogue non-volatile resistive memory (an electronic synapse) with foundry friendly materials. The device shows bidirectional continuous weight modulation behaviour. Grey-scale face classification is experimentally demonstrated using an integrated 1024-cell array with parallel online training. The energy consumption within the analogue synapses for each iteration is 1,000 × (20 ×) lower compared to an implementation using Intel Xeon Phi processor with off-chip memory (with hypothetical on-chip digital resistive random access memory). The accuracy on test sets is close to the result using a central processing unit. These experimental results consolidate the feasibility of analogue synaptic array and pave the way toward building an energy efficient and large-scale neuromorphic system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't