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Neural Network Implementation Using FPGA: Issues and Application

Authors: A. Muthuramalingam, S. Himavathi, E. Srinivasan


.Hardware realization of a Neural Network (NN), to a large extent depends on the efficient implementation of a single neuron. FPGA-based reconfigurable computing architectures are suitable for hardware implementation of neural networks. FPGA realization of ANNs with a large number of neurons is still a challenging task. This paper discusses the issues involved in implementation of a multi-input neuron with linear/nonlinear excitation functions using FPGA. Implementation method with resource/speed tradeoff is proposed to handle signed decimal numbers. The VHDL coding developed is tested using Xilinx XC V50hq240 Chip. To improve the speed of operation a lookup table method is used. The problems involved in using a lookup table (LUT) for a nonlinear function is discussed. The percentage saving in resource and the improvement in speed with an LUT for a neuron is reported. An attempt is also made to derive a generalized formula for a multi-input neuron that facilitates to estimate approximately the total resource requirement and speed achievable for a given multilayer neural network. This facilitates the designer to choose the FPGA capacity for a given application. Using the proposed method of implementation a neural network based application, namely, a Space vector modulator for a vector-controlled drive is presented

Keywords: FPGA implementation, multi-input neuron, neural network, nn based space vector modulator.

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