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An analog VLSI chip emulating sustained and transient response channels of the vertebrate retina

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2 Author(s)

A silicon retina that emulates the sustained and the transient responses in the vertebrate retina was fabricated. The circuit of the chip consists of two layers of resistive network that have different length constants. The output emulating the sustained response possesses a Laplacian-Gaussian-like receptive field and, therefore, carries out a smoothing and contrast-enhancement on the input images. This receptive field was realized by subtracting voltages distributing over the two resistive networks. The output emulating the transient response was obtained by subtracting consecutive images that were smoothed out by the resistive network and is sensitive to moving objects. The outputs of these two channels can be obtained alternately from the silicon retina in real time, within time delays not exceeding a few tens of milliseconds, with indoor illumination. The outputs of the chip are offset-suppressed analog voltages since the uncontrollable mismatches of transistor characteristics are compensated for with the aid of sample/hold circuits embedded in each pixel circuit. The silicon retina fabricated in the present study can be readily used in current engineering applications, e.g., robot vision.

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Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 5 )