This paper presents a chip-based electrophysiological platform enabling the study of micro- and macro-circuitry in in-vitro neuronal preparations. The approach is based on a 64 x 64 microelectrode array device providing extracellular electrophysiological activity recordings with high spatial (21 mm of electrode separation) and temporal resolution (from 0.13 ms for 4096 microelectrodes down to 8 ms for 64 microelectrodes). Applied to in-vitro neuronal preparations, we show how this approach enables neuronal signals to be acquired for investigating neuronal activity from single cells and microcircuits to large scale neuronal networks. The main elements of the platform are the metallic microelectrode array ( MEA) implemented in Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology similar to a light imager, the in-pixel integrated low-noise amplifiers (11 mu V-rms) and the high-speed random addressing logic. The chip is combined with a real-time acquisition system providing the capability to record at 7.8 kHz/electrode the whole array and to process the acquired signals.