Bang, click, thud, or whack?

Fernando J. Pineda, Gert Cauwenberghs, R. Timothy Edwards, Kenneth T. Ryals, David G. Steigerwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Acoustic transients - short, impulsive bursts of acoustic energy - are a rich source of information in the natural world. Biological systems process them quickly and economically. In this article, we describe a biologically inspired analog very-large-scale integration (VLSI) architecture for real-time classification of acoustic transients. Judicious normalization of time-frequency signals allows an elegant and robust implementation of a correlation algorithm. The algorithm replaces analog-analog multiplication with binary multiplexing of analog signals. This removes the need for analog storage and analog multiplication. Simulations show that the resulting algorithm has the same out-of-sample classification performance (about 93% correct) as a template-matching algorithm based on conventional analog correlation. This development paves the way for intelligent acoustic processing in low-power applications such as cellular telephones and debit cards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-252
Number of pages9
JournalJohns Hopkins APL Technical Digest (Applied Physics Laboratory)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic transients
  • Analog VLSI
  • Matched filters
  • Neural computation
  • Speech recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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