Journal article

Analog Programmable Distance Calculation Circuit for Winner Takes All Neural Network Realized in the CMOS Technology

This paper presents a programmable analog current-mode circuit used to calculate the distance between two vectors of currents, following two distance measures. The Euclidean (L2) distance is commonly used. However, in many situations, it can be replaced with the Manhattan (L1) one, which is computationally less intensive, whose realization comes with less power dissipation and lower hardware complexity. The presented circuit can be easily reprogrammed to operate with one of these distances. The circuit is one of the components of an analog winner takes all neural network (NN) implemented in the complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor 0.18-mu m technology. The learning process of the realized NN has been successfully verified by the laboratory tests of the fabricated chip. The proposed distance calculation circuit (DCC) features a simple structure, which makes it suitable for networks with a relatively large number of neurons realized in hardware and operating in parallel. For example, the network with three inputs occupies a relatively small area of 3900 mu m(2). When operating in the L2 mode, the circuit dissipates 85 mu W of power from the 1.5 V voltage supply, at maximum data rate of 10 MHz. In the L1 mode, an average dissipated power is reduced to 55 mu W from 1.2 V voltage supply, while data rate is 12 MHz in this case. The given data rates are provided for the worst case scenario, where input currents differ by 1%-2% only. In this case, the settling time of the comparators used in the DCC is quite long. However, that kind of situation is very rare in the overall learning process.


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