Efficient FPGA implementations of pair and triplet-based STDP for neuromorphic architectures

Corey Lammie, Tara Julia Hamilton, André van Schaik, Mostafa Rahimi Azghadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Synaptic plasticity is envisioned to bring about learning and memory in the brain. Various plasticity rules have been proposed, among which spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) has gained the highest interest across various neural disciplines, including neuromorphic engineering. Here, we propose highly efficient digital implementations of pair-based STDP (PSTDP) and triplet-based STDP (TSTDP) on field programmable gate arrays that do not require dedicated floating-point multipliers and hence need minimal hardware resources. The implementations are verified by using them to replicate a set of complex experimental data, including those from pair, triplet, quadruplet, frequency-dependent pairing, as well as Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro experiments. We demonstrate that the proposed TSTDP design has a higher operating frequency that leads to 2.46 × faster weight adaptation (learning) and achieves 11.55 folds improvement in resource usage, compared to a recent implementation of a calcium-based plasticity rule capable of exhibiting similar learning performance. In addition, we show that the proposed PSTDP and TSTDP designs, respectively, consume 2.38 × and 1.78 × less resources than the most efficient PSTDP implementation in the literature. As a direct result of the efficiency and powerful synaptic capabilities of the proposed learning modules, they could be integrated into large-scale digital neuromorphic architectures to enable high-performance STDP learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1558-1570
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


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