3 years ago

Mimicking Biological Synaptic Functionality with an Indium Phosphide Synaptic Device on Silicon for Scalable Neuromorphic Computing

Biological Synaptic Functionality with an
Indium Phosphide Synaptic Device on Silicon for Scalable Neuromorphic
Wei Wang, Rehan Kapadia, Matthew Yeung, Qingfeng Lin, Debarghya Sarkar, Jun Tao, Chenhao Ren
Neuromorphic or “brain-like” computation is a leading candidate for efficient, fault-tolerant processing of large-scale data as well as real-time sensing and transduction of complex multivariate systems and networks such as self-driving vehicles or Internet of Things applications. In biology, the synapse serves as an active memory unit in the neural system and is the component responsible for learning and memory. Electronically emulating this element via a compact, scalable technology which can be integrated in a three-dimensional (3-D) architecture is critical for future implementations of neuromorphic processors. However, present day 3-D transistor implementations of synapses are typically based on low-mobility semiconductor channels or technologies that are not scalable. Here, we demonstrate a crystalline indium phosphide (InP)-based artificial synapse for spiking neural networks that exhibits elasticity, short-term plasticity, long-term plasticity, metaplasticity, and spike timing-dependent plasticity, emulating the critical behaviors exhibited by biological synapses. Critically, we show that this crystalline InP device can be directly integrated via back-end processing on a Si wafer using a SiO2 buffer without the need for a crystalline seed, enabling neuromorphic devices that can be implemented in a scalable and 3-D architecture. Specifically, the device is a crystalline InP channel field-effect transistor that interacts with neuron spikes by modification of the population of filled traps in the MOS structure itself. Unlike other transistor-based implementations, we show that it is possible to mimic these biological functions without the use of external factors (e.g., surface adsorption of gas molecules) and without the need for the high electric fields necessary for traditional flash-based implementations. Finally, when exposed to neuronal spikes with a waveform similar to that observed in the brain, these devices exhibit the ability to learn without the need for any external potentiating/depressing circuits, mimicking the biological process of Hebbian learning.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.7b08272

DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b08272

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