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Recording Strategies for High Channel Count, Densely Spaced Microelectrode Arrays

, Manuel Delgado-Restituto
Published: 13 July 2021

Abstract: Neuroscience research into how complex brain functions are implemented at an extra-cellular level requires in vivo neural recording interfaces, including microelectrodes and read-out circuitry, with increased observability and spatial resolution. The trend in neural recording interfaces toward employing high-channel-count probes or 2D microelectrodes arrays with densely spaced recording sites for recording large neuronal populations makes it harder to save on resources. The low-noise, low-power requirement specifications of the analog front-end usually requires large silicon occupation, making the problem even more challenging. One common approach to alleviating this consumption area burden relies on time-division multiplexing techniques in which read-out electronics are shared, either partially or totally, between channels while preserving the spatial and temporal resolution of the recordings. In this approach, shared elements have to operate over a shorter time slot per channel and active area is thus traded off against larger operating frequencies and signal bandwidths. As a result, power consumption is only mildly affected, although other performance metrics such as in-band noise or crosstalk may be degraded, particularly if the whole read-out circuit is multiplexed at the analog front-end input. In this article, we review the different implementation alternatives reported for time-division multiplexing neural recording systems, analyze their advantages and drawbacks, and suggest strategies for improving performance.
Keywords: Neuroscience / Neural recording / time multiplexing / crosstalk / CMOS technology / prosthetics

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