Open Access

A CNN-Specific Integrated Processor

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20092009:854241

Received: 2 October 2008

Accepted: 16 January 2009

Published: 11 February 2009


Integrated Processors (IP) are algorithm-specific cores that either by programming or by configuration can be re-used within many microelectronic systems. This paper looks at Cellular Neural Networks (CNN) to become realized as IP. First current digital implementations are reviewed, and the memoryprocessor bandwidth issues are analyzed. Then a generic view is taken on the structure of the network, and a new intra-communication protocol based on rotating wheels is proposed. It is shown that this provides for guaranteed high-performance with a minimal network interface. The resulting node is small and supports multi-level CNN designs, giving the system a 30-fold increase in capacity compared to classical designs. As it facilitates multiple operations on a single image, and single operations on multiple images, with minimal access to the external image memory, balancing the internal and external data transfer requirements optimizes the system operation. In conventional digital CNN designs, the treatment of boundary nodes requires additional logic to handle the CNN value propagation scheme. In the new architecture, only a slight modification of the existing cells is necessary to model the boundary effect. A typical prototype for visual pattern recognition will house 4096 CNN cells with a 2% overhead for making it an IP.

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Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Electrical and Information Technology, Lund University


© S. Malki and L. Spaanenburg. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.