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A new CMOS VLSI implementation of an asymmetric programmable sigmoid neural activation function, as well as of its derivative, is presented. It consists of two coupled PMOS and NMOS differential pairs with different programmable bias currents that set the upper and lower limits of the sigmoid. The circuit works in the weak inversion region, for low power consumption and exponential envelope, or in strong inversion to achieve higher speeds. The results obtained from the theoretical transfer function, and from the simulations of the circuit implemented in AMI's 0.35 μm technology, show a very good match.