Toward the Optimal Design and FPGA Implementation of Spiking Neural Networks

Wenzhe Guo, Hasan Erdem Yantir, Mohamed E. Fouda, Ahmed Eltawil, Khaled N. Salama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The performance of a biologically plausible spiking neural network (SNN) largely depends on the model parameters and neural dynamics. This article proposes a parameter optimization scheme for improving the performance of a biologically plausible SNN and a parallel on-field-programmable gate array (FPGA) online learning neuromorphic platform for the digital implementation based on two numerical methods, namely, the Euler and third-order Runge-Kutta (RK3) methods. The optimization scheme explores the impact of biological time constants on information transmission in the SNN and improves the convergence rate of the SNN on digit recognition with a suitable choice of the time constants. The parallel digital implementation leads to a significant speedup over software simulation on a general-purpose CPU. The parallel implementation with the Euler method enables around 180x (20x) training (inference) speedup over a Pytorch-based SNN simulation on CPU. Moreover, compared with previous work, our parallel implementation shows more than 300x (240x) improvement on speed and 180x (250x) reduction in energy consumption for training (inference). In addition, due to the high-order accuracy, the RK3 method is demonstrated to gain 2x training speedup over the Euler method, which makes it suitable for online training in real-time applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems
StatePublished - 2021


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