We present a neuromorphic current mode implementation of a spiking neural classifier with lumped square law dendritic nonlinearity. It has been shown previously in software simulations that such a system with binary synapses can be trained with structural plasticity algorithms to achieve comparable classification accuracy with fewer synaptic resources than conventional algorithms. We show that even in real analog systems with manufacturing imperfections (CV of 23.5% and 14.4% for dendritic branch gains and leaks respectively), this network is able to produce comparable results with fewer synaptic resources. The chip fabricated in m complementary metal oxide semiconductor has eight dendrites per cell and uses two opposing cells per class to cancel common-mode inputs. The chip can operate down to a V and dissipates 19 nW of static power per neuronal cell and 125 pJ/spike. For two-class classification problems of high-dimensional rate encoded binary patterns, the hardware achieves comparable performance as software implementation of the same with only about a 0.5% reduction in accuracy. On two UCI data sets, the IC integrated circuit has classification accuracy comparable to standard machine learners like support vector machines and extreme learning machines while using two to five times binary synapses. We also show that the system can operate on mean rate encoded spike patterns, as well as short bursts of spikes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt in hardware to perform classification exploiting dendritic properties and binary synapses.

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