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Analog VLSI and Neural Systems Hardcover – January 1, 1989

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This book introduces Mead's pioneering work on the design of neural networks and their implementation in analog VLSI systems. Mead observes first that the nervous systems of even simple animals contain computing paradigms far more effective than any found in currently available computers. He then shows how the powerful organizing principles of these nervous systems can be realized in silicon integrated circuits. His examples include silicon neural systems that replicate animal senses - chips that can see and hear!
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Product Details

  • Series: Addison-Wesley VLSI Systems Series
  • Hardcover: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company; 1st edition (January 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201059924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201059922
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Assuming you know something about CMOS and VLSI
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.
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Format: Hardcover
The book describes an interesting niche in VLSI design. Most VLSI chips implement digital logic. But Mead took a different tack, emphasising the analog mode of operation of the transistors. In most digital electronics texts, this regime of current-voltage performance is mostly cursorily dealt with.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Carver Mead was one of the of the pioneers of the idea of a "silicon neuron" back in the 1980's. The interesting part is that he sees the direct analog between synthetic neurons and conductance-based models. Instead of membrane capacitance being charged by ions in the neurons, VLSI capacitors are charged by electrons, and so forth.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
This is definitely a must-read book for researchers and students in the field of neuromorphic engineering such that they could learn how to engineer the biological systems...
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