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An active dendritic tree can mitigate fan-in limitations in superconducting neurons



Bryce Primavera, Jeff Shainline


Superconducting electronic circuits have much to o er with regard to neuromorphic hardware. Superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) can serve as an active element to perform the thresholding operation of a neuron's soma. However, a SQUID has a response function that is periodic in the applied signal. We show theoretically that if one restricts the total input to a SQUID to maintain a monotonically increasing response, a large fraction of synapses must be active to drive a neuron to threshold. We then demonstrate that an active dendritic tree (also based on SQUIDs) can significantly reduce the fraction of synapses that must be active to drive the neuron to threshold. In this context, the inclusion of a dendritic tree provides the dual benefits of enhancing the computational abilities of each neuron and allowing the neuron to spike with sparse input activity.
Applied Physics Letters


Primavera, B. and Shainline, J. (2021), An active dendritic tree can mitigate fan-in limitations in superconducting neurons, Applied Physics Letters, [online],, (Accessed May 21, 2024)


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Created December 13, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022