I have decided to go ahead with the project of building an electronic neuron using an FPGA.
Since I haven't the least clue how this can be done or even if it's possible at all I'm feeling my way into it. This is the way I work - Top Down. I think its pointless to attempt to plan a project that you don't know how to do.
This is the rough plan
- FPGA - I have a Intel FPGA development board (DE10-Nano) with a System On Chip Cyclone V. Very steep learning curve on the Intel software that program these beasts. The prototype is up and running.
- MatLab - I installed the latest MatLab software since that seems to be the best way to start with an existing neuron simulation. I think I can work MatLab without too much trouble but we will see.
- Books - I ordered several books on neurons that look promising. Finding an example to start with is more difficult than you would expect. The major problem is finding one with a level of abstraction that I can understand (simple) and still realistic enough to be convincing.
- Once the simulation is selected and moved to MatLab the next step will be to design the equivalent in hardware for the FPGA.
- Populating the FPGA with a set of neurons should be straight forward but interconnecting the dendrites and axons is unclear.
- How to make use of the Cyclone FPGAs System On Chip, which is an ARM computer with 1 GByte of working memory that will have access to the RJ45 port and what it will do is also unclear.