A biomimetic neural encoder for spiking neural network

Shiva Subbulakshmi Radhakrishnan, Amritanand Sebastian, Aaryan Oberoi, Sarbashis Das, Saptarshi Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Spiking neural networks (SNNs) promise to bridge the gap between artificial neural networks (ANNs) and biological neural networks (BNNs) by exploiting biologically plausible neurons that offer faster inference, lower energy expenditure, and event-driven information processing capabilities. However, implementation of SNNs in future neuromorphic hardware requires hardware encoders analogous to the sensory neurons, which convert external/internal stimulus into spike trains based on specific neural algorithm along with inherent stochasticity. Unfortunately, conventional solid-state transducers are inadequate for this purpose necessitating the development of neural encoders to serve the growing need of neuromorphic computing. Here, we demonstrate a biomimetic device based on a dual gated MoS2 field effect transistor (FET) capable of encoding analog signals into stochastic spike trains following various neural encoding algorithms such as rate-based encoding, spike timing-based encoding, and spike count-based encoding. Two important aspects of neural encoding, namely, dynamic range and encoding precision are also captured in our demonstration. Furthermore, the encoding energy was found to be as frugal as ≈1–5 pJ/spike. Finally, we show fast (≈200 timesteps) encoding of the MNIST data set using our biomimetic device followed by more than 91% accurate inference using a trained SNN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2143
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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