The analogic cellular neural network as a bionic eye

Frank Werblin, Tamás Roska, Leon O. Chua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

151 Citations (Scopus)


The conception of the CNN universal machine has led quite naturally to the invention of the analogic CNN bionic eye (henceforth referred to simply as the bionic eye). the basic idea is to combine the elementary functions, the building blocks, of the retina and other 2 1/2 D sensory organs, algorithmically, in a stored programme of a CNN universal machine, through the use of artificial analogic programmes. the term bionic is defined in a rigorous way: it is a nonlinear, dynamic, spatiotemporal biological model implemented in a stored programme electronic (optoelectronic) device; this device is in our case the analogic CNN universal machine (or chip). The aim of this paper is to report on this new invention, particularly to electronic and computer engineers, in a tutorial way. We begin by summarizing (1) the biological aspects of the range of retinal function (the retinal universe), (2) the CNN paradigm and the CNN universal machine architecture and (3) the general principles of retinal modelling in CNN. Next we describe new CNN circuit and template design innovations that can be used to implement physiological functions in the retina and other sensory organs using the CNN universal machine. Finally we show how to combine given retinal functional elements implemented in the CNN universal machine with analogic algorithms to form the bionic retina. the resulting system can be used not only for simulating biological retinal function but also for generating functions that go far beyond biological capabilities. Several bionic retina functions, different topographic modalities and analogic CNN algorithms can then be combined to form the analogic CNN bionic eye. the qualitative aspects of the models, especially the range of dynamics and accuracy considerations in VLSI optoelectronic implementations, are outlined. Finally, application areas of the bionic eye and possibilities of constructing innovative devices based on this invention (such as the bionic eyeglass or the visual mouse) are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-569
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Circuit Theory and Applications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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