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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

An FPGA-Based Electronic Cochlea

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20032003:751437

  • Received: 18 June 2002
  • Published:


A module generator which can produce an FPGA-based implementation of an electronic cochlea filter with arbitrary precision is presented. Although hardware implementations of electronic cochlea models have traditionally used analog VLSI as the implementation medium due to their small area, high speed, and low power consumption, FPGA-based implementations offer shorter design times, improved dynamic range, higher accuracy, and a simpler computer interface. The tool presented takes filter coefficients as input and produces a synthesizable VHDL description of an application-optimized design as output. Furthermore, the tool can use simulation test vectors in order to determine the appropriate scaling of the fixed point precision parameters for each filter. The resulting model can be used as an accelerator for research in audition or as the front-end for embedded auditory signal processing systems. The application of this module generator to a real-time cochleagram display is also presented.


  • field programmable gate array
  • electronic cochlea
  • VHDL modules

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong
Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia


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