Hierarchical Temporal memory is an unsupervised machine learning algorithm. Inspired by the structural and functional properties of the human brain, it is capable of processing spatio-temporal signals which are used for data storage and predictions. The algorithm is composed of two main components; the Spatial Pooler and the Temporal Memory. The spatial pooler produces a sparse distribution representation for the given pattern. These generalized representations are used by the temporal memory to make predictions. Therefore, it is important to ensure that more generalized sparse distribution representations are obtained for the spatio-temporal data


This work presents the digital design of spatial pooler implementation for an existing mathematical algorithm along with an analysis of its scalability for the target FPGA device. The digital design is implemented in two ways; Conventional and Parallel architectures. The architectures are compared in terms of speedup, area and power consumption. Based on the analysis of results, it is seen that the parallel approach is more efficient in terms of speed and power, with a negligible increase in device utilization. The spatial pooler design is evaluated against the standard MNIST dataset, obtaining up to 90% and 88% classication accuracy for the train and test data, respectively. Additionally, the designs are tested on the MNIST dataset, in the presence of noise, to determine its robustness. Fluctuations of up to 10% of the peak accuracy are observed during classication, and are noted in the classication accuracy plots for the dataset with noise. The design is synthesized for the Xilinx Virtex 7 family with a total power consumption of up to 260 mW.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Machine learning; Computer algorithms; Memory management (Computer science)

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Computer Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Computer Engineering (KGCOE)


Dhireesha Kudithipudi

Advisor/Committee Member

Marcin Lukowiak

Advisor/Committee Member

Sonia Lopez Alarcon


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes