pNeuron – Printed Electronics for Neuromorphic Computing

Some of the most challenging issues in printable large-area electronics (LAE) are related to the reliability, variability and relatively low speed of individual devices, which make it difficult to implement more complex functionality. Remarkably, biological systems have evolved solutions to these problems: neurons are slow, highly variable, volatile, and yet brains have an amazing ability to achieve robust operation, and process information at high speed and with low power consumption. Hence a question arise, can circuits based on neural principles provide useable solutions to coping with device issues in LAE?

Additionally, as the interest in brain-inspired systems continues to grow, could low-cost large-area printed electronics, with its inherently more “neuron-like” devices, provide an ideal alternative technology for implementing such systems?

pNeuron explored these questions. 

Project Objectives

  • Demonstrate spiking neuron circuits, mimicking biological behaviour, using printed electronics technology.
  • Explore feasibility of designing circuits based on neural principles, and proof-of-concept experiments, to prepare the ground for future research and collaborative research proposals

Key Achievements

  • Evaluated several approaches to device characterisation
  • Designed and simulated pMOS circuits, implementing integrate-and-fire neuron circuits.

The unique match between the properties of printable electronic circuits and neuromorphic design provides exciting research opportunities. This work has led to a collaboration with ARM on a new project: "PlasticARMPit".

Further details about pNeuron

Industrial partners

Photo credit

Purkinje neurons in culture by Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images. (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Posted in Pathfinder.