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Analog VLSI and Neural Systems Hardcover – January 1, 1989
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Top Customer Reviews
design, this is the classic text to cover the
broad base to get started in understanding how
one goes about designing actual hardware for
various neural network architectures. Both
analog and digital approaches are discussed, and
the circuits are clearly explained with lots of
schematics and plenty of derivative mathematics
that show why a particular approach has utility
for a given problem. There are a lot of new
books (Mead has a new one out) but they owe a
large debt to this book.
What Mead did was use this often where the current through the source and drain was some exponential function of the voltage at the transistor gate. An oversimplification, perhaps, but it captures the essence of the book. By tying together transistors, Mead was able to build circuits that emulated the performance of the eye and ear. The text then uses these to make silicon chips that might mimic the biological sensors.
The book also embodies Mead's approach to understanding the brain and its neural networks. He claims that the problem is very hard. And that we can usefully make progress by looking at the brain's input sensors. As these are much simpler to understand and implement.
Mead carried the ideas here into Synaptics. A Silicon Valley startup that he co-founded.
Sadly, the book is out of print. (Why??) The prices of $129 and higher by third party sellers are way excessive.
By now, the book is somewhat dated - a lot of advances have happened since it was published - but it's still a classic, and highly recommended for anyone interested in the possibility of using analog computing for modeling neurons and networks.