A FPGA implementation of the CAR-FAC cochlear model

Ying Xu, Chetan S. Thakur, Ram K. Singh, Tara Julia Hamilton, Runchun M. Wang, André van Schaik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a digital implementation of the Cascade of Asymmetric Resonators with Fast-Acting Compression (CAR-FAC) cochlear model. The CAR part simulates the basilar membrane's (BM) response to sound. The FAC part models the outer hair cell (OHC), the inner hair cell (IHC), and the medial olivocochlear efferent system functions. The FAC feeds back to the CAR by moving the poles and zeros of the CAR resonators automatically. We have implemented a 70-section, 44.1 kHz sampling rate CAR-FAC system on an Altera Cyclone V Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) with 18% ALM utilization by using time-multiplexing and pipeline parallelizing techniques and present measurement results here. The fully digital reconfigurable CAR-FAC system is stable, scalable, easy to use, and provides an excellent input stage to more complex machine hearing tasks such as sound localization, sound segregation, speech recognition, and so on.

Original languageEnglish
Article number198
Number of pages14
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • neuromorphic engineering
  • electronic cochlea
  • basilar membrane
  • inner hair cell
  • outer hair cell
  • automatic gain control
  • medial olivocochlear efferent
  • FPGAs


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