A novel superconducting neuron circuit and two types of variable synapses, which are based on superconducting quantum interferometer devices (SQUIDs), are presented. A neuron circuit with good input-output isolation and steep threshold characteristics is accomplished using a combination of a single-junction SQUID coupled to a double-junction SQUID. The quantum state of the single-junction SQUID represents the neuron state, and the output voltage of the double-junction SQUID, which is operated in a nonlatching mode with shunt resistors, is a sigmoid-shaped function of the input. Both variable synapse circuits are composed of multiple shunted double-junction SQUIDs. The first type changes its conductance value by using both superconducting and voltage states. The second variable synapse circuit changes its output current digitally by switching its bias currents. Besides numerical simulations of the circuit characteristics, we have fabricated superconducting neural chips in a Nb/AlOx/Nb Josephson junction technology. The fundamental operation of each element and a 2-bit neural-based A/D converter have been successfully tested. A learning system with a variable synapse is also discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)