A Seminar Report on


Submitted for partial fulfillment of requirement of award of

Degree In

Electronics & Communication Engineering

ARPIT Roll No.:- 0706331021


SESSION: 2010-2011

Many liv


& destinies are destroyed due to the lack of proper guidance,

directions & opportunities. It is in this respect I feel that I am in much better condition today due to continuous process of motivation & focus p rovided by my parents & faculty in general. The process of selection of this topic for my seminar was a tedious job & requires care & support at all st ages. I would like to highlight the role played by individuals towards this. I am eternally grateful to Mr. Abhay Chaturvedi, Seminar In charge, for providing us the suggestion & opportunity to present the seminar on this topic as a partial fulfillment of requirement of award of Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering. I would like to express my sincere thanks, with deep sense of gratitude to the librarian of Electronics Departmental Library for providing me help in the creation of this report. I also thank all my faculty members of my institute & friends for their valuable help in my seminar presentation. I am also thankful to all visible & invisible hands which helped us to complete this seminar with a feeling of success.

Arpi (




We ereby certify t at t e work w ic is being presented in t e seminar report entitled ³MEMRISTOR´ by me in t e partial fulfillment of t e requirement for t e award of Bac elor Of Tec nology Degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering Department at G.L.A. Institute Of Tec nology & Management, Mat ura from Uttar Prades Tec nical Uni ersity, Lucknow. T e matter embodied in t is dissertation as not been submitted by me for award of any ot er degree.

DATED:. 16t August,2010 T is is to certify t at t e abo e statement made by t e candidate is correct to t e best of my knowledge.




Since the dawn of electronics, we've had only three types of circuit component--resistors, inductors, and capacitors. But in 1971, UC Berkeley researcher Leon Chua theorized the possibility of a fourth type of component, one that would be able to measure the flow of electric current: the memristor. Now, just 37 years later, Hewlett- ackard has built one. A mathematical model and a physical example that prove the memristor's existence appear in a paper published in the April 30,2008 issue of the journal Nature. MEMRISTOR- A groundbreaking breakthrough in fundamental electronics!! The memristor, a microscopic component that can "remember" electrical states even when turned off. Memristors are basically a fourth class of electrical circuit, joining the resistor, the capacitor, and the inductor, that exhibit their unique properties primarily within the nanoscale. Thus, a Memristors resistance varies according to a devices memristance function. The reason that the memristor is radically different from the other fundamental circuit elements is that, unlike them, it carries a memory of its past. When you turn off the voltage to the circuit, the memristor still remembers how much was applied before and for how long. The memristor--the functional equivalent of a synapse--could revolutionize circuit design. Memristors circuits lead to ultra small PCs. Williams says these memristors can be used as either digital switches or to build a new breed of analog devices. Memristors can be used in Signal Processing, Arithmetic Processing,Pattern Comparison, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and virtual reality etc.






INTRODUCTION Missing Link of Electronics Discovered: "Memristor"
After nearly 40 years, researc ers a e disco ered a new type of building block for electronic circuits. And t ere's at least a c ance it will spare you from rec arging your p one e ery ot er day. Scientists at Hewlett Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, California, report in Nature t at a new nanometer scale electric switc "remembers" w et er it is on or off after its power is turned off. (A nanometer is one billiont of a meter.) Researc ers belie e t at t e memristor, or memory resistor, mig t become a useful tool for constructing non olatile computer memory, w ic is not lost w en t e power goes off, or for keeping t e computer industry on pace to satisfy Moore's law, t e exponential growt in processing power e ery 18 mont s. You may dimly recall circuit diagrams from your middle sc ool science class; t ose little boxes wit a battery on one end and a lig t bulb on t e ot er. Ring any bells? Until now, electrical engineers ad only t ree "passi e" circuit elements (t ose t at dissipate t e energy from a power source) T e capacitor accumulates electric c arge; t e resistor (represented by t e lig t bulb) resists electric current; and t e inductor con erts current into a magnetic field.

Fig:1 Fundamental Circuit Components: Resistors,Inductors,Capacitors

In 1971 researcher Leon Chua of the University of California, Berkeley noticed a gap , in t at list. Circuit elements express relations ips between pairs of t e four electromagnetic quantities of c arge, current, oltage and magnetic flux. Missing was a link between 7

c arge and flux. C ua dubbed t is missing link t e memristor and created a crude example to demonstrate its key property: it becomes more or less resisti e (less or more conducti e) depending on t e amount of c arge t at ad flowed t roug it.

Figure 2: Fourt Fundamental Component 17 memristors in a row are isible on t is AFM image. T e memristor consists of two titanium dioxide layers connected to wires. W en a current is applied to one, t e resistance of t e ot er c anges. T at c ange can be registered as data. Image credit: J.J. Yang / HP Labs
¢ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡

P ysicist Stanley Williams of HP Labs says t at after a colleague broug t C ua's work to is attention, e saw t at it would explain a ariety of odd be a iors in electronic de ices t at is group and ot er nanotec researc ers ad built o er t e years. His"brain jolt" came, e says, w en e reali ed t at "to make a pure memristor you a e to build it so as to isolate t is memory function." So e and is colleagues inserted a layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) as t in as t ree nanometers between a pair of platinum layers [see image above]. Part of t e TiO2 layer contained a sprinkling of positi ely c arged di ots ( acancies) w ere oxygen atoms would a e normally been. T ey applied an alternating current to t e electrode closer to t ese di ots, causing it to swing between a positi e and negati e c arge. W en positi ely c arged, t e electrode pus ed t e c arged acancies and spread t em t roug out t e TiO2, boosting t e current flowing to t e second electrode. W en t e oltage re ersed, it slas ed t e current a million fold, t e group reports. W en t e researc ers turned t e current off, t e acancies stopped mo ing, w ic left t e memristor in eit er its ig or low resistant state. "Our p ysics model tells us t at t e memristi e state s ould last for years," Williams says. 8

Chua says he didn't expect anyone to make a memristor in his lifetime. "It's amazing," he says. "I had just completely forgotten it." He says the HP memristor has an advantage over other potential nonvolatile memory technologies because the basic manufacturing tools are already in place. Williams adds that memristors could be used to speed up microprocessors by synchronizing circuits that tend to drift in frequency relative to one another or by doing the work of many transistors at once.



Bernard Widrow develops a 3-terminal device called a "memistor" as a new fundamental circuit component forming the basis of a neural network circuit called ADALINE (ADAptive LInear NEuron).


J.G. Simmons and R.R. Verderber publish an article in the Proceeding of the Royal Society of London entitled "New conduction and reversible memory phenomena in thin insulating films." The article notes hysteretic resistance switching effects in thin film (20-300 nm) silicon oxide having injected gold ions. Electron trapping is suggested as the explanation for the phenomena.


Leon Chua, a professor at UC Berkeley, postulates a new two-terminal circuit element characterized by a relationship between charge and flux linkage as a fourth fundamental circuit element in the article "Memristor-the Missing Circuit Element" published in IEEE Transactions on Circuit Theory.


Leon Chua and his student Sung Mo Kang publish a paper entitled "Memristive Devices and Systems" in the Proceedings of the IEEE generalizing the theory of memristors and memristive systems including a property of zero crossing in the Lissajous curve characterizing current vs. voltage behavior.


Robert Johnson and Stanford Ovshinsky receive U.S. Patent 4,597,162 describing manufacturing of a 2-terminal reconfigurable resistance switching array based on phase changing materials. While distinct from memristor behavior, some of the basic elements later used by Stan Williams group such as the use of a crossbar architecture and the basic use of a 2-terminal resistance switch are found in this patent.


S.Thakoor, A. Moopenn, T. Daud, and A.P. Thakoor publish an article entitled "Solid-state thin-film memistor for electronic neural networks" in the Journal of Applied Physics. The article teaches a tungsten oxide electrically reprogrammable variable resistance device but it is unclear whether the "memistor" referred to in the 10

title has any connection to the memristor of Chua. In addition, the cited references of this article do not include any of Chua's publications on the memristor so this appears to be a coincidence. 1992

Juri H. Krieger and Nikolai F. Yudanov receive RU. Patent 2,071,126 in the first describing application of a super-ionic material with high ion mobility for creating a resistance switching memory cell (August 27)


Ju. H. Krieger, N.F. Yudanov, I.K. Igumenov and S.B. Vaschenko publish an article entitled "Study of Test Structures of a Molecular Memory Element" The article describe manufacturing of a resistance switching memory cell based on a conjugated polymer. (November 3) Katsuhiro Nichogi, Akira Taomoto, Shiro Asakawa, Kunio Yoshida of the Matsushita Research Institute receive U.S. Patent 5,223,750 describing an artificial neural function circuit formed using two-terminal organic thin film resistance switches which appear to have some properties similar to the memristor. However, no specific mention of memristors is made.



F. A. Buot and A. K. Rajagopal publish in the Journal of Applied Physics an article entitled "Binary information storage at zero bias in quantum-well diodes". The article demonstrates the existence of memristor-¶bow-tie¶ current-voltage characteristics in AlAs/GaAs/AlAs quantum-well diodes with special spacer-layer doping design. The analysis does not involve magnetic interaction and the authors were not aware of Chua's publications on memristor. It appears that the analysis bears no direct connection to the memristor of Chua.


Michael Kozicki and William West receive U.S. Patent 5,761,115 (assigned to Axon Technologies Corp. and the Arizona Board of Regents) describing the Programmable metallization cell, a device which consists of an ion conductor between two or more electrodes and whose resistance or capacitance can be programmed via the growth and dissolution of a metal "dendrite". No connection to memristors is made but the functionality is similar. (June 2) Bhagwat Swaroop, William West, Gregory Martinez, Michael Kozicki, and Lex Akers publish a paper entitled "Programmable Current Mode Hebbian Learning Neural Network Using Programmable Metallization Cell" in the Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, (vol. 3, pp 33±36, 1998), demonstrating that the complexity of an artificial synapse can be minimized by using an ionic programmable resistance device. (June 3) 11



James Heath, Philip Kuekes, Gregory Snider, and Stan Williams, of HP Labs, publish a paper in Science entitled "A Defect-Tolerant Computer Architecture:Opportunities for Nanotechnology." The article discusses how the possibility of a chemically fabricated 2-terminal configurable bit element can be implemented in a crossbar configuration and provide for defect tolerant computing. No connection to memristors is yet identified. (June 12) Ju. H. Krieger, N.F. Yudanov, I.K. Igumenov and S.B. Vaschenko publish an article entitled "Molecular Analogue Memory Cell" in the Proceedings of the Sixth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology, Santa Clara, California, Nov. 12-15, 1998. (November 12)



A. Beck, J. G. Bednorz, Ch. Gerber, C. Rossel, and D. Widmer of IBM¶s Zurich Research Laboratory describe reproducable resistance switching effects in thin oxide films in the article "Reproducible switching effect in thin oxide films for memory applications" published in Applied Physics Letters. The switches are noted as having hysteretic features similar to memristors but no connection to memristors is yet noted. (July 3) Philip Kuekes, Stanley Williams, and James Heath, of HP Labs, receive U.S. Patent 6,128,214 (assigned to Hewlett-Packard) describing a nanoscale crossbar using a rotaxane molecular structure as a 2-terminal non-linear resistance switch. The connection to the memristor theory is not yet recognized. (October 3)



Shangqing Liu, NaiJuan Wu, Xin Chen, and Alex Ignatiev, researchers in the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center of the University of Houston, present results during a nonvolatile memory conference held in San Diego, California on Nov. 6-7 in the article "A New Concept for Non-Volatile Memory: The Electric Pulse Induced Resistive Change Effect in Colossal Magnetoresistive Thin Films." This appears to be the first identification of the importance of oxide bilayers to achieve a high to low resistance ratio. Data is provided indicative of the zero-crossing Lissajous curves discussed by Chua and Kang but no connection to memristors is yet noted and no explanation for the underlying mechanism is provided. Ju. H. Krieger, S.V. Trubin S.B., Vaschenko and N.F. Yudanov publish an article entitled "Molecular analogue memory cell based on electrical switching and memory in molecular thin films". The article describe manufacturing of a twoterminal resistance switching array (8x8) based on a soluble oligomers of a conjugated polymer and an ionic complex (sodium salt). This principle allows creating memory cells with several bits per one cell and will allow working out the artificial neuron for neural networks and neural computers. (May 1) Ju. H. Krieger and N.F. Yudanov have a pending PCT International Application PCT/RU01/00334 describing memory cells having active and passive layers may 12



store multiple information bits. The active layer may include conjugated polymers, an inclusion compounds or different type of oxide that have a variable resistance based on the movement of ions and electrons between the passive layer and the active layer. The passive layer may be a super-ionic material that has high ion and electron mobility. (August 13) 2004

Ju. H. Krieger and N.F. Yudanov receive U.S. Patent 6,768,157 (July 27), 6,806,526 (October 19) 6,815,286 (November 9) (assigned to Advanced Micro Devices) describing memory cells having active and passive layers may store multiple information bits. The active layer may include conjugated polymers, an inclusion compounds or different type of oxide that have a variable resistance based on the movement of ions and electrons between the passive layer and the active layer. The passive layer may be a super-ionic material that has high ion and electron mobility. Ju. H. Krieger and Stuart M. Spitzer publish a paper in the IEEE Proceeding 2004 Non-Volatile Memory Technology Symposium entitled "Non-traditional, Nonvolatile Memory Based on Switching and Retention Phenomena in Polymeric Thin Films". This work describes the process of dynamic doping of polymer and inorganic dielectric-like materials in order to improve the switching characteristics and retention required to create functioning nonvolatile memory cells. (15-17 Nov)



Darrell Rinerson, Christophe Chevallier, Steven Longcor, Wayne Kinney, Edmond Ward, and Steve Kuo-Ren Hsia receive U.S. Patent 6,870,755 (assigned to Unity Semiconductor) including basic patent claims to reversible 2-terminal resistance switching materials based on metal oxides. (March 22) Ju. H. Krieger and N.F. Yudanov receive U.S. Patent 6,838,720 (January 4) 6,855,977 (February 15), 6,858,481 (February 22), 6,864,522 (March 8), 6,873,540 (March 29) (assigned to Advanced Micro Devices) describing manufacturing of a two-terminal resistance switching memory cells having active and passive layers. Employing self-assembly produces polymer memory cells at the precise locations of the contacts of the transistor array. The mechanism of inducing the conductivity change of the polymer by changing its doping concentration provides a promising approach to make various memory devices. Zhida Lan, Colin Bill, and Michael A. VanBuskirk receive U.S. Patent 6,960,783 (assigned to Advanced Micro Devices) teaching a resistance switching memory cell formed from a layer of organic material and a layer of metal oxides or sulfides. The I-V characteristic (Fig. 14) is similar to the memristor but no mention of the memristor is included in the description. (November 1)





Stanford Ovshinsky receives U.S. Patent 6,999,953 describing a neural synaptic system based on phase change material used as a 2-terminal resistance switch. Leon Chua's original memristor paper is cited by the U.S. Patent Office as a pertinent prior art reference but no specific reference of connection to the memristor theory is made. (February 14) Ju. H. Krieger and N.F. Yudanov receive U.S. Patents 6,992,323 (January 31), 7,026,702 (April 11), 7,113,420 (September 26) (assigned to Advanced Micro Devices) describing manufacturing of a two-terminal resistance switching memory cells. Shangquig Liu, Naijuan Wu, Alex Ignatiev, and Jianren Li publish an article entitled "Electric-pulse-induced capacitance change effect in perovskite oxide thin films" which appears to disclose effects similar to that of a memcapacitor. (September 11)




Juri H. Krieger and Stuart M. Spitzer receive U.S. Patent 7,157,732 (assigned to Spansion describing manufacturing of a switchable diode with memory having a passive and active layer with asymmetric semiconducting properties. The active layer may include conjugated polymers, an inclusion compounds or different type of oxide that have a variable resistance based on the movement of ions and electrons between the passive layer and the active layer. The passive layer may be a super-ionic material that has high ion and electron mobility. (January 2) Vladimir Bulovic, Aaron Mandell, and Andrew Perlman, receive U.S. Patent 7,183,141 (assigned to Spansion), including basic claims to methods of programming 2-terminal ionic complex resistance switches to act as a fuse or antifuse. (February 27) Gregory Snider of HP Labs receives U.S. Patent 7,203,789, assigned to HewlettPackard, describing implimentations of 2-terminal resistance switches similar to memristors in reconfigurable computing architectures. (April 10) Gregory Snider of HP Labs publishes the article "Self-organized computation with unreliable, memristive nanodevices" in the journal Nanotechnology discussing memristive nanodevices useful to pattern recognition and reconfigurable circuit architectures. (August 10) Blaise Mouttet, a graduate student at George Mason University, receives U.S. Patent 7,302,513 describing uses for 2-terminal resistance switching materials in signal processing, control systems, communications, and pattern recognition. (November 27)







Greg Snider of HP Labs receives U.S. Patent 7,359,888 (assigned to HewlettPackard) including basic claims to a nanoscale 2-terminal resistance switch crossbar array formed as a neural network. (April 15) Dmitri Strukov, Gregory Snider, Duncan Stewart, and Stan Williams, of HP Labs, publish an article in Nature "The missing memristor found´ identifying a link between the 2-terminal resistance switching behavior found in nanoscale systems and Leon Chua's memristor. (May 1) Blaise Mouttet, a graduate student at George Mason University, presents a poster entitled "Logicless Computational Architectures with Nanoscale Crossbar Arrays" describing analog computational architectures using 2-terminal resistance switching materials similar to the memristor at the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show in Boston. (June 1-5) Victor Erokhin and M.P. Fontana claim to have developed a polymeric memristor before the titanium dioxide memristor of Stan Williams group in the article "Electrochemically controlled polymeric device: a memristor (and more) found two years ago." (July 7) J. Joshua Yang, Matthew D. Pickett, Xuema Li, Douglas A. A. Ohlberg, Duncan R. Stewart and R. Stanley Williams publish an article in Nature Nanotechnology "Memristive switching mechanism for metal/oxide/metal nano-devices" demonstrating the memristive switching behavior and mechanism in nanodevices. (July 15) Stefanovich Genrikh, Choong-rae Cho, In-kyeong Yoo, Eun-hong Lee, Sung-il Cho, and Chang-wook Moon, receive U.S. Patent 7,417,271 (assigned to Samsung) including basic patent claims to a bilayer oxide 2-terminal resistance switch having memristive properties. However, the connection to Leon Chua's theory is not recognized in the patent description. (August 26) Blaise Mouttet, a graduate student at George Mason University, presents a poster entitled "Proposal for Memristors in Signal Processing" at Nano-Net 2008, a nanotechnology conference in Boston. (September 14-16) Yu V. Pershin and M. Di Ventra of UC San Diego publish an article in Physical Review Letters entitled "Spin memristive systems: Spin memory effects in semiconductor spintronics" which notes memristive behavior in spintronics. (September 23) Yu V. Pershin, S. La Fontaine, M. Di Ventra publish an article entitled "Memristive model of amoeba's learning" identifying memristive behavior in amoeba's learning. (October 22)











Duncan Stewart, Patricia Beck, and Doug Ohlberg, researchers at HP Labs, receive U.S. Patent 7,443,711 (assigned to Hewlett-Packard) including basic patent claims to a tunable nanoscale 2-terminal resistance switch. (October 28) Blaise Mouttet, a graduate student at George Mason University, receives U.S. Patent 7,447,828 including various patent claims to using 2-terminal resistance switching materials in adaptive signal processing. (November 4) Leon Chua, Stan Williams, Greg Snider, Rainer Waser, Wolfgang Porod, Massimiliano Di Ventra, and Blaise Mouttet speak at a Symposium on Memristors and Memristive Systems held at UC Berkeley. Discussion includes the theoretical foundations of memristors and memristive systems of Leon Chua and Sung Mo Kang and the prospects of memristors for RRAM and neuromorphic electronic architectures. (November 21) Blaise Mouttet receives U.S. Patent 7,459,933 including various patent claims to using 2-terminal hysteretic resistance materials for image processing and pattern recognition. (December 2)





Sung Hyun Jo, Kuk-Hwan Kim, and Wei Lu of the University of Michigan publish an article in NanoLetters entitled "High-Density Crossbar Arrays Based on a Si Memristive System," which details an amorphous silicon based memristive material capable of being integrated with CMOS devices. (January 21) Massimiliano Di Ventra, Yuriy V. Pershin, Leon O. Chua submit an article in arXiv.org entitled "Circuit elements with memory: memristors, memcapacitors and meminductors" which extends the notion of memristive systems to capacitive and inductive elements, namely capacitors and inductors whose properties depend on the state and history of the system. (January 23, 2009) Blaise Mouttet published a Google knol article entitled: "An Introduction to Memimpedance and Memadmittance Systems Analysis" which is an explanation on "Circuit elements with memory: memristors, memcapacitors and meminductors" and Chua's memristor paper. (January 30, 2009) HP Labs group publish an article entitled "A hybrid nanomemristor/transistor logic circuit capable of self-programming" in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (February 10, 2009) An article is published in NanoLetters entitled "Nanoparticle Assemblies as Memristors" describing a newly discovered memristor material based on magnetite nanoparticles and proposing an extended memristor model including both timedependent resistance and time-dependent capacitance. (May 1, 2009) Yuriy Pershin and Massimiliano Di Ventra published a preliminary article in Nature Precedings entitled "Experimental demonstration of associative memory 16






with memristive neural networks" in which a memristor emulator demonstrates properties of a neural synapse. (May 19, 2009)

Scientists at NIST published an article in IEEE Electron Device Letters entitled "A Flexible Solution-Processed Memristor". NIST's memristor is based on TiO2 like HPLabs but is fabricated using a less expensive room temperature deposition process and deposits the memristive material on flexible polymer sheets with potential applications as components of biosensors or RFID. (June 3, 2009) At the 2nd International Multi-Conference on Engineering and Technological Innovation, Blaise Mouttet of George Mason University described a memristorbased pattern recognition circuit performing an analog variation of the exclusive nor function. The circuit architecture is proposed as a way to circumvent Von Neumann's bottleneck for processors used in robotic control systems. (July 13, 2009) The physical realization of an electrically modifiable array of memristive neural synapses is achieved by reseachers at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology as reported in the journal Nanotechnology. (August 4, 2009) Memristive behavior of magnetic tunnel junctions is reported by researchers from the Bielefeld University, Germany. A combination of resistive and magnetoresistive switching leads to a second order memristive device. The two state variables are the state of the insulating layer (oxygen vacancy positions) and the state of the magnetic electrodes (the relative orientation of the magnetization direction). (September 17, 2009)





When & How i came into exi tence?
In 1971, a University of California, Berkeley engineer predicted that there should be a fourth element: a memory resistor, or memristor. But no one knew how to build one. Now, 37 years later, electronics have finally gotten small enough to reveal the secre of that ts fourth element. The memristor, Hewlett-Packard researchers revealed today in the journal certain nanoscale devices. They think the new element could pave the way for applications both near- and far-term, from nonvolatile RAM to realistic neural networks. The memristor's story starts nearly four decades ago with a flash of insight by IEEE Fellow and nonlinear-circuit-theory pioneer Leon Chua. Examining the relationships between charge and flux in resistors, capacitors, and inductors in a 1971 paper, Chua postulated the existence of a fourth element called the memory resistor. Such a device, he figured, would provide a similar relationship between magnetic flux and charge that a resistor gives between voltage and current. In practice, that would mean it acted like a resistor whose value could vary according to the current passing through it and which would remember that value even after the current disappeared. But the hypothetical device was mostly written off as a mathematical dalliance. Thirty years later, Hewlett Packard Senior fellow Stanley Williams and his group were working on molecular electronics when they started to notice strange behavior in their d evices. ´They were doing really funky things, and we couldn't figure out what [was going on],´ Williams says. Then his HP collaborator Greg Snider rediscovered Chua's work from 1971. ´He said, ¶Hey guys, I don't know what we've got, but this is what we want ,' ´ Williams remembers. Williams spent several years reading and rereading Chua's papers. ´It was several years of scratching my head and thinking about it.´ Then Williams realized their molecular devices were really memristors. ´It just hit me between the eyes.´ On April 30, 2008 a team at HP Labs announced the development of a switching memristor. Based on a thin film of titanium dioxide, it has a regime of operation with an approximately linear charge-resistance relationship. These devices are being developed for 18
¥ ¤£


, had been hiding in plain sight all along--within the electrical characteristics of

application in nanoelectronic memories, computer logic, and neuromorp ic computer arc itectures.

What is it?

Fig.3: Symbol Of Memristor

A memristor ("memory resistor") is any of arious kinds of passi e two terminal circuit elements t at maintain a functional relations ip between t e time integrals of current and oltage. T is function, called memristance, is similar to ariable resistance. Specifically engineered memristors pro ide controllable resistance, but suc de ices are not commercially a ailable. Ot er de ices like batteries and aristors a e memristance, but it does not normally dominate t eir be a ior.

Why it is different from other fundamental circuit components?
T e definition of t e memristor is based solely on fundamental circuit ariables, similarly to t e resistor, capacitor, and inductor. Unlike t ose t ree elements, w ic are allowed in linear time in ariant or LTI system t eory, memristors are nonlinear and may be described by any of a ariety of time arying functions of net c arge. T ere is no suc t ing as a generic memristor. Instead, eac de ice implements a particular function, w erein eit er t e integral of oltage determines t e integral of current, or ice ersa. A linear time in ariant memristor is simply a con entional resistor. T e reason t at t e memristor is radically different from t e ot er fundamental circuit elements is t at, unlike t em, it carries a memory of its past. W en you turn off t e oltage to t e circuit, t e memristor still remembers ow muc was applied before and for ow long. T at's an effect t at can't be duplicated by any circuit combination of resistors, capacitors, and inductors, w ic is w y t e memristor qualifies as a fundamental circuit element.


Analogy Of Memri tor with a Pipe
The classic analogy for a resistor is a pipe through which water (electricity) runs. The width of the pipe is analogous to the resistance of the flow of current--the narrower the pipe, the greater the resistance. Normal resistors have an unchanging pipe size. A memristor, on the other hand, changes with the amount of water that gets pushed through. If you push water through the pipe in one direction, the pipe gets larger (less resistive). If you push the water in the other direction, the pipe gets smaller (more resistive). And the memristor remembers. When the water flow is turned off, the pipe size does not change. Such a mechanism could technically be replicated using transistors and capacitors, but, Williams says, ´it takes a lot of transistors and capacitors to do the job of a single memristor.´ Consequences of Memristor¶s Memory The memristor's memory has consequences: the reason computers have to be rebooted every time they are turned on is that their logic circuits are incapable of holding their bits after the power is shut off. But because a memristor can remember voltages, a memristordriven computer would arguably never need a reboot. ´You could leave all your Word files and spreadsheets open, turn off your computer, and go get a cup of coffee or go on vacation for two weeks,´ says Williams. ´When you come back, you turn on your computer and everything is instantly on the screen exactly the way you left it.´

Mathematical Analysis Of Its Existence
Chua deduced the existence of memristors from the mathematical relationships between the circuit elements. The four circuit quantities (charge, current, voltage, and magnetic flux) can be related to each other in six ways. Two quantities are covered by basic physical laws, and three are covered by known circuit elements (resistor, capacitor, and inductor), says Columbia University electrical engineering professor David Vallancourt. That leaves one possible relation unaccounted for. Based on this realization, Chua proposed the memristor purely for the mathematical aesthetics of it, as a class of circuit element based on a relationship between charge and flux.


Fig. 4: Mat ematical relation between all four basic quantities in terms of fundamental components in electronics. It list t e proof of existence of ³Memristor´ as an elemt relating c arge and flux.
¦ ¦ ¦


T e memristor is formally defined as a two terminal element in w ic t e magnetic flux

between t e terminals is a function of t e amount of electric c arge q t at as passed

t roug t e de ice. Eac memristor is c aracteri ed by its memristance function describing t e c arge dependent rate of c ange of flux wit c arge.

Noting from Faraday's law of induction t at magnetic flux is simply t e time integral of oltage, and c arge is t e time integral of current, we may write t e more con enient form

It can be inferred from t is t at memristance is simply c arge dependent resistance. If M(q(t)) is a constant, t en we obtain O m's Law R(t) = V(t)/ I(t). If M(q(t)) is nontri ial, owe er, t e equation is ot equi alent because q(t) and M(q(t)) will ary wit time. Sol ing for oltage as a function of time we obtain T is equation re eals t at memristance defines a linear relations ip between current and oltage, as long as c arge does not ary. Of course, non ero current implies time arying c arge. Alternating current, owe er, may re eal t e linear dependence in circuit operation by inducing a measurable oltage wit out et c arge mo ement²as long as t e maximum c ange in q does not cause muc c ange in M. Furt ermore, t e memristor is static if no current is applied. If I(t) = 0, we find V(t) = 0 and M(t) is constant. T is is t e essence of t e memory effect. T e power consumption c aracteristic recalls t at of a resistor, I2R.
§ §


As long as M(q(t)) aries little, suc as under alternating current, t e memristor will appear as a resistor. If M(q(t)) increases rapidly, owe er, current and power consumption will quickly stop.

Magnetic flux in a passive device
In circuit t eory, magnetic flux

typically relates to Faraday's law of induction, w ic

states t at t e oltage in terms of electric field potential gained around a loop (electromoti e force) equals t e negati e deri ati e of t e flux t roug t e loop:

T is notion may be extended by analogy to a single passi e de ice. If t e circuit is composed of passi e de ices, t en t e total flux is equal to t e sum of t e flux components due to eac de ice. For example, a simple wire loop wit low resistance will a e ig flux linkage to an applied field as little flux is "induced" in t e opposite direction. Voltage for passi e de ices is e aluated in terms of energy lost by a unit of c arge:

Obser ing t at


is simply equal to t e integral of t e potential drop between two

points, we find t at it may readily be calculated, for example by an operational amplifier configured as an integrator. Two unintuiti e concepts are at play:

Magnetic flux is generated by a resistance in opposition to an applied field or electromoti e force. In t e absence of resistance, flux due to constant EMF increases indefinitely. T e opposing flux induced in a resistor must also increase indefinitely so t eir sum remains finite. Any appropriate response to applied oltage may be called "magnetic flux."


T e ups ot is t at a passi e element may relate some ariable to flux wit out storing a magnetic field. Indeed, a memristor always appears instantaneously as a resistor.As s own abo e, assuming non negati e resistance, at any instant it is dissipating power from an 23

applied EMF and t us as no outlet to dissipate a stored field into t e circuit. T is contrasts wit an inductor, for w ic a magnetic field stores all energy originating in t e potential across its terminals, later releasing it as an electromoti e force wit in t e circuit.

Physical restrictions on M(q)
An applied constant oltage potential results in uniformly increasing


infinite memory resources, or an infinitely strong field, would be required to store a number w ic grows arbitrarily large. T ree alternati es a oid t is p ysical impossibility: M(q) approac es ero, suc t at

= œM(q)dq = œM(q(t))I dt remains bounded but

continues c anging at an e er decreasing rate. E entually, t is would encounter some kind of quanti ation and nonideal be a ior.
y y

M(q) is cyclic, so t at M(q) = M(q í q) for all q and some q, e.g. sin2(q/Q). T e de ice enters ysteresis once a certain amount of c arge as passed t roug , or ot erwise ceases to act as a memristor.

Memristive Systems
T e memristor was generali ed to memristi e systems in a 1976 paper by Leon C ua. W ereas a memristor as mat ematically scalar state, a system as ector state. T e number of state ariables is independent of, and usually greater t an, t e number of terminals. In t is paper, C ua applied t is model to empirically obser ed p enomena, including t e Hodgkin±Huxley model of t e axon and a t ermistor at constant ambient temperature. He also described memristi e systems in terms of energy storage and easily obser ed electrical c aracteristics. T ese c aracteristics matc resisti e random access memory and p ase c ange memory, relating t e t eory to acti e areas of researc . In t e more general concept of an n-t order memristi e system t e defining equations are


w ere t e ector w represents a set of n state ariables describing t e de ice. T e pure memristor is a particular case of t ese equations, namely w en M depends only on c arge (w=q) and since t e c arge is related to t e current ia t e time deri ati e dq/dt=I. For pure memristors neit er R nor f are explicit functions of I.

Physics Behind Memristive Device
T is new circuit element s ares many of t e properties of resistors and s ares t e same unit of measurement (o ms). Howe er, in contrast to ordinary resistors,in w ic t e resistance is permanently fixed, memristance may be programmed or switc ed to different resistance states based on t e istory of t e oltage applied to t e memristance material. T is p enomena can be understood grap ically in terms oft e relations ip between t e current flowing t roug a memristor and t e oltage applied across t e memristor. In ordinary resistors t ere is a linear relations ip between current and oltage so t at a grap comparing current and oltage results in a straig t line. Howe er, for memristors a similar grap is a little more complicated. Fig. 5(a) illustrates t e current s. oltage be a ior of memristance similar to t at discussed in t e paper by Stan Williams or in t is earlier study conducted in 2001 by researc ers of NASA on manganite based materials. ysteretic resistance

Fig.5(a): Current Vs Voltage Cur e demonstrating ysteretic effects of memristance
¨ ©

In contrast to t e straig t line expected from most resistors t e be a ior of a memristor appear closer to t at found in ysteresis cur es associated wit magnetic mateials. It is r notable from Fig. 5(a) t at two straig t line segments are formed wit in t e cur e. T ese two straig t line cur es may be interpreted as two distinct resistance states wit 25 t e

remainder of t e cur e as transition regions between t ese two states. Fig. 5(b) illustrates an ideali ed resistance be a ior demonstrated in accordance wit Fig. 5(a) w erein t e linear regions correspond to a relati ely ig resistance (RH) and low resistance (RL) and t e transition regions are represented by straig t lines. T us for oltages wit in a t res old region (-VL2<V<VL1 in Fig. 5(b)) eit er a ig or low resistance exists for t e memristor. For a oltage abo e t res old VL1 t e resistance switc es from a ig to a low le el and for a oltage of opposite polarity abo e t res old V t e resistance switc es L2 back to a ig resistance.

Fig.5(b): Ideali ed Hysteresis Model Of Resistance Vs Voltage for memristance switc 

Chemistry Behind Memristive Device
Williams found an ideal memristor in titanium dioxide--t e stuff of w ite paint and sunscreen. Like silicon, titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ) is a semiconductor, and in its pure state it is ig ly resisti e. Howe er, it can be doped wit ot er elements to make it ery conducti e. In TiO 2 , t e dopants don't stay stationary in a ig electric field; t ey tend to drift in t e direction of t e current. Suc mobility is poison to a transistor, but it turns out t at's exactly w at makes a memristor work. Putting a bias oltage across a t in film of TiO 2 semiconductor t at as dopants only on one side causes t em to mo e into t e pure TiO 2 on t e ot er side and t us lowers t e resistance. Running current in t e ot er direction will t en pus t e dopants back into place, increasing t e TiO 2 's resistance. HP Labs is now working out ow to manufacture memristors from TiO 2 and ot er materials and figuring out t e p ysics be ind t em. T ey also a e a circuit group working out ow to integrate memristors and silicon circuits on t e same c ip. T e HP group as a


ybrid silicon CMOS memristor c ip ´sitting on a c ip tester in our lab rig t now,´ says Williams.

Fig:5(c) O Vacancy Drift Model for TiO (2-x) Switch (De eloped by R. Stanley Williams of HP Labs, 2008) 

Memristor: Operation As A Switch
For some memristors, applied current or oltage will cause a great c ange in resistance. Suc de ices may be c aracteri ed as switc es by in estigating t e time and energy t at must be spent in order to ac ie e a desired c ange in resistance. Here we will assume t at t e applied oltage remains constant and sol e for t e energy dissipation during a single switc ing e ent. For a memristor to switc from Ron to Roff in time Ton to Toff, t e c arge must c ange by Q = QoníQoff.

To arri e at t e final expression, substitute V=I(q)M(q), and t en œdq/V = ¨Q/V for constant V. T is power c aracteristic differs fundamentally from t at of a metal oxide semiconductor transistor, w ic is a capacitor-based de ice. Unlike t e transistor, t e final state of t e memristor in terms of c arge does not depend on bias oltage. T e type of memristor described by Williams ceases to be ideal after switc ing o er its entire resistance range and enters ysteresis, also called t e "hard-switching regime." Another kind of switch would ha e a cyclic M(q) so that each off-on e ent would be


followed by an on-off event under constant bias. Such a device would act as a memristor under all conditions, but would be less practical.

Manufacturing Techniques
One of the key fabrication advantages of the crossbar architecture is that the structure is a well ordered, periodic and simple structure. However, to achieve nanoscale resolutions the standard lithography approaches are insufficient. The manufacturing techniques for the nanoscale crossbar devices developed by Hewlett-Packard include nanoimprint lithography, which uses a stamp-like structure with nanometer resolution to transfer a pattern of nanoscale resolution to a substrate. Additional nanoscale fabrication approaches can include self-assembly techniques in which a mixture of polymers or other materials can form periodic structures on a surface based on processes of energy minimalization. These self-assembly techniques can be used to form a periodic mask structure over a metal film which can act as a resist to control removal of metal layers in regions not covered by the mask resulting in the desired metal nanowires required for the crossbar structure. But while the nanoscale fabrication approches may be critical to high density memory design, the problem of defects become more pronounced. In addition, compatibility with conventional fabrication approaches will likely be necessary for mass production of memristor based electronics. Several applications in pattern recognition and signal processing, as detailed above, may in fact not yet require nanometer scale resolution to provide competitive solutions and applications in robotics and artificial intelligence since in these areas it is the reconfigurability of the memristor material rather than the scalability that can provide the key benefits. Figs. 27 and 28 below illustrate a basic outline for one possible fabrication procedure using the typical processes of film deposition, lithography, and etching from semiconductor manufacture. In Fig. 27, a metal film, a p-doped polysilicon layer, and an n-doped polysilicon layer are deposited on an oxidized Si wafer and a resist film is coated and lithographically patterned followed by etching to form electrically isolated input wiring columns of the crossbar. The p-type and n-type polysilicon layers are included to establish a rectification layer which help to avoid feedback within the crossbar structure. As illustrated in Fig. 28 a dielectric filler is deposited in the etched region followed by planarization and a thin film deposition of 28

TiO2/TiO2-x or other resistance switching material. Output metal wiring perpendicular to the input wiring is then deposited and patterned abo e the memristor material to complete the crossbar structure.


y Operating outside of 0¶s and 1¶s allows it to imitate brain functions. y Have great data density. y Innovating nanotechnology due to the fact that it performs better the smaller it is. y Creating a Computer that never has to boot up. y Combines the jobs of working memory and hard drives into one tiny device. y Faster and less expensive than DRAM and Flash Memory. y Allow digital cameras to take pictures with no delay inbetween. y As non-volatile memory, memristors do not consume power when idle.

y Though hundreds of thousands of memristor semiconductors have already been

built, there is still much more to be perfected.
y Dissipates heat when being written to or read. y Needs more defect engineering. y No design standards (rules). y Fair endurance (overlookable e.g.. Transistors).


Williams' solid-state memristors can be combined into devices called crossbar latches, which could replace transistors in future computers, taking up a much smaller area. They can also be fashioned into non-volatile solid-state memory, which would allow greater data density than hard drives with access times potentially similar to DRAM, replacing both components. HP prototyped a crossbar latch memory using the devices that can fit 100 gigabits in a square centimeter. HP has reported that its version of the memristor is about one-tenth the speed of DRAM. The devices' resistance would be read with alternating current so that they do not affect the stored value. Some patents related to memristors appear to include applications in programmable logic, signal processing, neural networks, and control systems. Recently, a simple electronic circuit consisting of an LC network and a memristor was used to model experiments on adaptive behavior of unicellular organisms. It was shown that the electronic circuit subjected to a train of periodic pulses learns and anticipates the next pulse to come, similarly to the behavior of slime molds Physarum polycephalum subjected to periodic changes of environment. Such a learning circuit may find applications, e.g., in pattern recognition. 

Modern computational systems are based on logic gates which perform elementary operation on bit values (0 or 1) in order to perform operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc. This has been a highly successful methodology for computation, however it has some drawbacks. One disadvantage of logic based computation is that for many operations data has to be repeatedly transferred between memory and the arithmetic logic unit which can be very time consuming for some complex computational problems. For example, multiplication is actually performed by repeated retrieval and storage step for accumulating sums. Another disadvantage is that logic gates are formed from transistors and are subject to the ultimate limits of miniaturization which


could eventually end Moore's law. Memristors could offer some solutions which may expand the capabilities of computation beyond tranditional logic gates. One approach to using memristors in computational processes has already been suggested by Hewlett-Packard researcher Greg Snider in his patent US 7,203,789. The approach is based on programmable logic architectures which are similar to the designs found in reconfigurable computing. However, ultimately his approach may have some drawbacks in that multiple crossbar tiles need to be configured and interconnected for a full arithmetic logic unit design and the problem of segmentation between memory and computation components is not solved. An alternative approach may be based on a hybrid analog/digital computational system approach. Figs. 6a-6c below show examples of a memristor crossbar array inclusing a horizontal wire intersected by eight vertical wires in which memristor material is sandwiched between the horizontal wire and the vertical wires. An input voltage below the threshold necessary for altering the resistance of the memristance material is applied to the vertical wires. Assuming that the memristor material may be approximated as a fuse (i.e. high resistance is approximately an open circuit and low resistance is a low resistance), the total output current in the horizontal wire may be calculated based on the ratio of the input voltage and the parallel combination of the number of number of low resistances. Thus if one low resistance state produces a current of I, two low resistance states will produce a current of 2I, three low resistance states will produce a current of 3I, etc. This system is essentially a unary analog computer and by providing the output current to and analog-to-digital converter (ADC) a binary output can be produced.


Fig. 7 illustrates an example of how such an analog computational system can be made more practical and pro ide integration between memory and computational systems. In the illustrated system each column of the crossbar is configured to store the equi alent of a binary numerical alue where low resistance states are indicated as a closed connection and high resistance states are open connections. Thus the first column stores the binary alue 0001 (=1), the second column stores the binary alue0010 (=2), the third column stores binary alue 0011 (=3), etc. Each row wire includes a weighting resistor set to be sufficiently larger than the low resistance state of the memristance material so that each row has an associated bit significance ranging from a least significant bit row (uppermost row) to a most significant bit row (lowermost row). By selecting particular columns (i.e. applying a positi e oltage Vin less than the threshold necessary to alter the resistance of the memristor material) the binary numerical alues of these columns may be added together. In the example of Fig. 7, the first, fifth, and sixth column alues are summed. In the first column only the upper row crosspoint is in a low resistance state so this contributes a current of approximately (Vin/R). In the fifth column, the first and third row crosspoints are in the low resistance states which contribute (V /R + Vin/(R/4)=5Vin/R) to in the current. In the sixth column the second and third row crosspoints are in the low resistance states which contribute (Vin/(R/2)+Vin/(R/4)=6Vin/R) to the current. The o erall current is thus (Vin/R+5Vin/R+6Vin/R=12Vin/R). Using an analog-to-digital con ertor with


a resolution set to Vin/R the output is con erted to 1100 which is the expected sum (0001+0101+0110). Note: the abo e description is simplified for ease of explanation. It is noted that for proper operation a pn junction layer or rectification material would preferably be pro ided between the column and row wiring to pre ent feedback paths in the crossbar wiring. Also the low resistance alues of the memristor material should be compensated forby tuning of the fixed weighting resistors (e.g. the fixed resistor R in the first row should be changed to R-r, in the second row R/2 should be R/2 - r, etc. where r is the alue of the low resistance state).

While the abo e configuration has some deficiencies of its own, such as the reliance on analog circuitry which can be more sensiti e than purely digital electronics to noise and en ironmental effects, it has the ad antage of integrating memory with computation.If three, four, or more numbers need to be summed the sum can be performed directly based on binary numbers stored as resistance states in a memristor crossbar array rather than based on a repeated storage and retrie al from a separate memory. In some applications where the relati e magnitude of a large number of possible numerical sum is of interest this approach may be e en more ad antage w ithout the necessity of analog to digital con ersion. For example, in the Tra elling Salesman Problem it is desirable to optimi e the tra eling path for isiting a group of cities so th each city is isited exactly once. By at 34

defining all the possible distances between the cities and setting the binary resistance states of each column of the memristor crossbar in accordance with these distances, the optimum sums may be compared in accordance with the selection of the input columns. By looking for the lowest possible output current for a set of inputs the optimum travel path can be sought with a less reliance on processor speed. 

In conventional digital electronics comparisons between stored bit patterns and sensed bit patterns is required for a variety of applications in information processing such as image recognition and memory addressing. Often logic gates called Exclusive NOR (XNOR) are used to perform individual bit comparisons to identify matching bits in a pattern. However, such logic gates can be inefficient when dealing with large array bit patterns associated with visual images, digitalized voice data, or other complex patterns since each bit comparison requires its own logic circuit. A variety of computer software tricks exist to make data comparisons more efficient but these tricks can have a detrimental effect on the overall speed of the pattern comparison. Memristor crossbar arrays offer the potential to bridge the gap between hardware solutions based on logic gates and software solutions based on computing power offering faster and more efficient pattern comparison operations. Fig. 8 below illustrates one possible configuration for such a memristor crossbar array used for pattern comparison in which two 4x4 crossbar arrays are included with logic inverters connected to the right crossbar array and voltage converters provided for selective amplification of the input voltage levels. The crossbar arrays initially includes memristance material configured to be at a high resistance state between the column and row wiring (a rectification layer may also be provided to avoid feedback between the crossbars).


Figs. 9-12 illustrate the programming (writing) of the resistance states in the memristor crossbar in which each row is selected programming the resistance states the ia a correponding output transistor. For oltage con ertor circuitry is used to amplify a

binary input logic oltage into a range sufficient for switching the memristance material from the high resistance state to the low resistance state. For simplicity of explanation the low resistance state is approximated as a short circuit. In Fig. 9 below the first crossbar rows are written with resistance states corresponding to a 1010 in the left crossbar array and a 0101 in the right crossbar array (1=low resistance state, 0=high resistance state).


In Fig. 10 below the second crossbar rows are written with resistance states corresponding to a 0111 in the left crossbar array and a 1000 in the right crossbar array (1=low resistance state, 0=high resistance state).


In Fig. 11 below the third crossbar rows are written with resistance states corresponding to a 1100 in the left crossbar array and a 0011 in the right crossbar array (1=low resistance state, 0=high resistance state).

In Fig. 12 below the fourth crossbar rows are written with resistance states corresponding to a 0010 in the left crossbar array and a 1101 in the right crossbar array (1=low resistance state, 0=high resistance state).


After storing the resistance states in the crossbar rows the

oltage con erter can be

swiched to a comparison mode by reducing the amplification factor so as to be below the threshold which alters the memristance material. By selecting all of the rows an input binary pattern an be compared to all of the rows simultaneously.In Fig. 13 the bit pattern 0111 is input to the crossbar array producing relati e current outputs for each row in accordance with the number of matching resistance states. For example, the first row stores 1010/0101 which only matches a single bit with the input pattern 0111 and transmits a single unit of current from the left crossbar array. In contrast row 2 stores 0111/1000 and thus transmits three units of current from the left crossbar array and one unit of current from the right crossbar array pro iding a total of four units of current. Thus the magnitude of the output currents between the input bit pattern and the stored bit pattern for each row pro ide an indication which is somewhat related to the Hamming distance used in information theory (i.e. a higher current magnitude corresponds to a lower Hamming distance).


The output currents of Fig. 13 may be transmitted to a comparison circuit with a threshold set in accordance with the degree ofprecision desired between the input and stored bit pattern. A reduced threshold allowing for a certain percentage of bit errors could be useful to a ariety of applications such as oice recognition and image sensing in which the closest match rather than exact match between bit patterns is important.In other applications, such as robotics, a motor or actuator may be connected to each row output and the input pattern may correspond to a control word used to generate a response for the motor or actuator of a corresponding row. Artificial intelligence is another potential application in which the digitial input patterns may correspond to isual or audio cues used to "train" the memristor crossbar arrays as indicated in Figs.8-12. At a subsequent time these same isual or audio cues can then be used to solicit the trained responses in the comparison mode. This type of crossbar architecture could of course be scaled up to crossbar arrays ha ing hundreds or e en thousands of rows and columns allowing for comparison of more lengthy bit patterns and a higher degree of parallel processing.


As discussed in the above section on signal processing with memristors, operational amplifiers combined with memristors can produce some useful applications in reconfigurable signal processing. These capacities may be extending by including capacitors in the circuit construction. Capacitors are electrical elements that have the property that the current flow through the capacitor is based on both the magnitude of the voltage signal applied across the capacitor as well as the frequency of the voltage signal. For low frequency signals, capacitors act as high impedance elements which means that very little current is transmitted and the capacitors act like an open circuit. For high frequency signals, capacitors act as low impedance elements which means that the capacitors act as a short circuit allowing for a lot of current flow. At intermediate frequencies capacitors act to tune the magnitude of the transferred current. These capabilites provide capacitors with the ability to selectively transmit signals which is very useful to applications in communications and control systems. The combination of capacitors with operational amplifiers is already known to produce some very useful circuit designs. For example, the circuit of Fig. 14 illustrated below utilizes a resistor R1 as a negative feedback element of the operational amplifier and a capacitor C1 as an input element. In this case the magnitude of the ratio between the output voltage Vout(t) and input voltage Vin(t) is equal to the ratio of the impedance of the resistor R1 and capacitor C1. For capacitors this impedance is expressable in terms of the input frequency f and capacitance C1 as 1/(2 f x C1). Thus the magnitude of the ratio Vout(t)/Vin(t) = 2 f x R1 x C1 and the transmission ratio is proportional to the frequency. This type of behavior is used to create a high pass filter useful for communication applications. In control systems applications this same circuit is used as a differentiator in which case the output signal is related to the mathematical derivative of the input signal.


Fig. 15 pro ides another example of the use of capacitors with operational amplifiers in which the positions of the capacitor and resistor of Fig. 14 is re ersed. In this case the magnitude of the ratio of the oltage output to input is equal to the ratio of the impedances of C1 to R1 which is expressed as 1/(2 f x R1 x C1). In this case the circuit acts to transmit low frequency signals and attenuate high frequency si nals and is thus referred to as a low g pass filter. In control systems applications this same circuit acts as an integrator in which case the output signal is related to the mathematical integral of the input signal.


While the abo e circuits are useful to communication and control systems there are a ariety of circumstances where ariations in temperature or oth conditions can change er the characteristics of the resistors and capacitors. In addition selecti e tuning of the resistors and capacitors is desirable for communication applications. While ariable o resistors and capacitors may be used to ser e this functi n the analog beha ior of these de ices can be difficult to regulate with digital precision. This is where memristance crossbars can offer an ad antage. Fig. 16 below illustrates an operational amplifier connected to an array of fixed capacitors ha ing al es set in multiples of 2. Memristor u crossbar arrays are connected between the capacitor arrays and the in erting input of the operational amplifier which may pro ide for programmable interconnections for selected capacitors. This configuration allow for reconfiguration of the circuit to act as an amplifier (Fig. 17), a high pass filter (Fig. 18), or a low pass filter (Fig. 19) byapplying the appropriate oltages ia memristance programming circuitry. In addition, different capacitors or combinations of capacitors can be included in the circuit ia a reconfiguration of the memristance states to tune the cutoff frequency of the circuit. Assumming that the low resistance state of the memristance material is suitably low so as to approximated by a short circuit, the capacitors may be treated as being in parallel when multiple crosspoints are set to a low resistance state. Since the capacitors are set in multiples of two this results in the possibility of creating a wide range of cutoff frequency for a low or high pass circuit according to the digital pattern stored in the crossbars. For example, Fig. 17 would 43

correspond to the state (10000 10000), Fig. 18 would correspond to the state (01000 10000), and Fig. 19 would correspond to the state (10000 01000). The re solution of such a system would be set by the minimum capacitor alues (C/8 in the examples of Fig. 16-18) but could be increased by adding more columns to the crossbar arrays with associated capacitors. Connecting two of the circuits of Fig. 16 in series can pro ide for a programmable bandpass filter in which case one of the filters can set the lowpass cutoff frequency and the other can set the highpass cutoff frequency. In another application a reconfigurable PID controller may be implemented by connecti g three circuits such as n Fig. 16 in parallel. This can pro ide for a tunable control system that can adjust itself to different conditions or applications and may be particularly useful in adapti e robotic systems.


In the last sentence of the Nature article ³The Missing Memristor Found´ a mention is made of the synapse-like function of memristors. This capability of memristors may open the door to physical implementations of neural networks. One possible construction of such a neural network in the form of crossbar arrays has already been worked out by Greg Snider, a co-author of the Nature article, who has patented the basic design ( Patent US 7,359,888). While neural networks themselves are nothing new, the implementation is typically in the form of software to simulate the behavior of synapse networks. However, software solutions to Artificial Intelligence have a fundamental drawback in that the data needs to be transferred between a memory, which stores the software data, and a processor, which computes based on the data. This requirement of data transfer generates an intrinsic delay and inefficiency which limits all software based A.I. A physical neural network can overcome this deficiency be merging data storage and processing into a single electronic device. More general ways are also conceivable to implement A.I. using memristor crossbars in the form of morphware. Conventionally electronic systems may broadly be defined into two distinct classes - hardware systems and software systems. Hardware-based electronic systems are formed using specialized circuitry and are typically faster than software-based electronics but lack adaptability. In contrast, software-based systems, which are based on programs run on a general purpose microprocessor, are more adaptable but lack the speed of specialized hardware. Morphware bridges the gap between hardware and software by using the 0¶s and 1¶s, which typically defines the software instructions, to instead define the interconnections between basic circuit elements forming the hardware. Programmable logic systems such as FPGAs already take advantage of this approach and memristor crossbar arrays can improve the adaptability of such systems. Fig. 20 illustrates one possible implementation of a memristor crossbar array as morphware. The crossbar array is formed from a vertical array of p -doped wiring and a horizontal array of n-doped wiring. Memristance material is formed between the two wiring arrays. The p-type and n-type doping generates a diode structure at each junction of the crossbar array which prevents feedback paths within the crossbar and the memristance material may be configured to a high or low resistance using programming circuitry. By 45

representing the high resistance state of a memristor material as a logic alue 0 and a low resistance state of a memristor material as a logic alue 1 the crossbar effecti ely acts as a binary matrix transformation on a set of input signals A, B, C, and D. The input signals A, B, C, and D may correspond to sensory signals based on ision, hearing, touch, etc. recei ed from arrays of detection de ices. The output signals may correspond to signals used to actuate motors or isual/audio output de ices. The particular state of the binary crossbar matrix thus defines a particular action such as a robotic mo ement based on sensory signals.

The implementation of Fig. 20 may be especially useful for A.I. when combined with software techniques such as hill climbing or genetic algorithms. In a hill climbing approach the resistance state of each crosspoint can be switched one at a time and the signal outputs of the crossbars can be tested against a threshold to determine if the ich beha ior is impro ed o er the pre ious iteration. By maintaining alterations wh impro e the quality of the output and re ersing alterations that diminish the quality of the output, repeated iterations can gradually impro e the beha ior of the system. Howe er, for large crossbar arrays this method can be time consuming. For example a moderately small ,
10000 100x100 binary crossbar array ha ing 100 input wires and 100 output wires a total of 2 3000 possible states (approx. equi alent to a number represented by 10 which is 1 followed

by 3000 eros). Programming based on genetic algorith may be used to more quickly ms optimi e the binary states of the crossbar array. Genetic algorithms use steps of selection, 46

crossbreeding, and mutation on binary strings of data to ³evolve´ better solutions to computational problems. When applied to the two dimensional binary resistance states of a crossbar memristor array, signal transformations may be optimized to perform particular tasks. The use of genetic algorithms in memristor crossbars may be further optimized by providing communication between large numbers of memristor crossbar arrays each of which may be representative of a ³species´ competing to best perform a particular task. 

Most robotic systems include three basic elements - sensors, actuators, and processors. The sensors detect the surrounding environment and, depending on the complexity of the robots design, can include simple sensors such as photodiodes, microphones, thermistors to detect the basic light, sound, and temperature or more complex sensors such as imaging sensors, voice recognition devices, and tactile interfaces. Actuators are a generic term for motion inducing devices and, when applied to robotics, often take the form of motors used for translational and/or rotary motion of the robotic system. A key problem of robotics is to find a way to map a set of sensor signals commonly detected by the robot to appropriate responses by the actuators. For example, if one were to design a robotic arm simulating a human arm one could use motors to rotate a plurality of joints with one joint representing the elbow, one joint representing the wrist, three joints representing each finger, and two joints representing the thumb. Assuming an independent motor is used for each joint a total of 16 motors would be required for this particular design. If one wanted to provide this robotic hand with the ability to pick up an object it would be useful to include an imaging sensor for the robotic system. However, in order for the robotic arm to properly respond to the detection of an object by the imaging sensor an additional component is necessary to process the information and generate the appropriate control signals to the motors. Conventionally this additional component is either a microprocessor performing under software or application specific hardware designed for a specific function. However, software based control can have reduced reaction times due to the delay required to transfer instructions between a memory storing the instructions and the processor. Hardware based solutions may be faster but are less adaptable to different situations. However, memristor based robotics may be able to bridge the gap allowing for both


adaptability and quick response times. One example of such an implementation is described below.

Fig. 21 abo e illustrates the basic components for a robotic system. The sensors may be pro ided to detect images, sounds, temperatures, or any other desirable en ironmental condition. If necessary analog-to-digital con ersion may be used to digitali e these signals and the digitali ed signals may be combined in an o erallbit pattern identifying the state of the en ironment. This bit pattern may then be input to a sensor/memory decoder configured as described in the prior section on pattern comparison with memristors. As pre iously described, this bit pattern can be directly stored in a dual crossbar array structure ha ing complementary high/low resistance states. Thus during a programming or mental condition states and learning stage a robotic system can "learn" different en iron map them into the resistance states of the crossbar junctions. At a later time during a nonprogramming stage (i.e. input oltage<threshold oltage for memristance switching) a similar en ironmental pattern will produce maximum current output for the row ha ing resistance bit alues that match the input binary pattern (for example in Fig. 22 row 2 is the best match to an en ironmental input state of "0111").One key benefit of this system is that there is a certain degree of tolerance to bit errors when a large number of columns are used to construct the crossbar and the associated en ironmental bit state. For example,if 48

10 bits are unmatched in a 100 column crossbar this would still pro ide 90% of maximum current output. This flexibility which focuses on a closest rather than exact match may be ery useful to pattern recognition.

In order to properly control the mo ement of a robotic system the actuation timing of the motors used to dri e mo ement should be sequenced in a particular fashion. In the robotic arm example in order for the arm to pick up an object detected by a isual sensor it may need to actuate the elbow motor first for a specific amount of time followed by the wrist motor followed by certain finger joints, etc. In order to achie e proper sequencing matched to the en ironmental input state a memristor crossbar may be configured as described in the pre ious section on Artificial Intelligence applications. In this case time delay elements may be pro ided between each column of the crossbar to generate an actuation sequence for an array of motors. In the example of Fig. 23 at time t=0, motor 3 is acti ated, at time t=T, motors 2 and 3 are acti ated, at time t=2T motors 1, 3, and 4 are acti ated, and at time t=3T motor 2 is acti ated. The states for an appropriate sequencing may be programmed by a user if it is easy to identify a correct pattern. Howe er, it may be preferable to simply configure a resistance bit pattern into the crossbar that is only an approximately good sequence and use automated techniques such as hill climbing and genetic algorithms, as 49

described in the pre ious section, to optimi e the sequencing.Once disco ered, the optimi ed crossbar resistance bit sequencing patterns corresponding to particular en ironmental input bit patterns could be shared between robotic systems ha ing the same design type. 

Virtual reality is a common theme in numerous science fiction no els and mo ies and usually is associated with an immersi e interacti e simulated en ironment pro iding at least audio and isual stimulation. To some degree many technologies de eloped o er the past century can be classified as irtual reality to some extent. Radio for example can pro ide a ³ irtual´ presentation of li e musical performances while tele ision and mo ies present the ³ irtual´ presentation of dramas and comedies which were l mited to li e i theatrical performances in pre ious centuries. Howe er, radio and tele ision pro ide only a one-sided irtual performance and do not pro ide for the interacti ity usually associated with irtual reality. In the past decade this has begun to rapidly change with the growth of the internet and impro ements in interacti e ideo and ideo gaming technologies. But all of these technologies are still indirect forms of irtual reality clearly distinguishable from


real world interaction. In order to generate a truly immersi e irtual reality a more direct interface between computers and the human brain would be desirable. Steps in this direction ha e already begun and are starting to appear in commercial products such as produced by the company Emoti which has designed a ideo gaming interface system which can directly sense a user s emotional state to control game characters. Howe er, this type of interface system is still at a crude stage of de elopment and in order to impro e this type of system, and generate a more immersi e irtual reality, memristor crossbars may offer some ad antages.

Fig. 24 abo e illustrates a basic system diagram for a irtual reality system including a neural input interface connecting computer inputs to the human brain ia a plurality of microelectrodes or nanoelectrodes and a neural output interface connecting the human brain ia a plurality of microelectrodes or nanoelectrodes to computer outputs. One key problem to this type of system (besides physically establishing the electrode connections to the brain) is that the wa eforms defining brain acti ity can be ery complex and the irtual i production of signal wa eforms capable of producing the same effect as the actual sgnals recei ed from sense organs (i.e. eyes, ears, ner e endings, etc.) may be ery difficult to accomplish. Brain wa eforms ha e typically been defined by electroencephalography in terms of Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma wa e patterns which are all relati ely low frequency (<100 H ) signals but can include complex wa e shapes. In order to manufacture the complex brain wa e pattern which accurately corresponds to real 51

experiences or sensations one strategy is to start with a set of primiti e simple wa eforms. This same type of strategy is often employed in communication systems which employ a technique called Fourier series to decompose any complex periodic wa eform into a weighted sum of simple sinusoidal functions and their harmonics. Based on the weighted sum of these simple basis wa eforms more complex wa eforms can be constructed. Figs. 25 and 26 pro ide examples of how memristor crossbars may be used to accomplish such a construction.

In Fig. 25 a crossbar arrangement is illustrated as an input neural interface in which simple input oltage signals from a computer are transmitted to the column wires of the crossbar and currents are recei ed from the row wires of the crossbar. Memristor material is deposited between the column and row wires which may be programmed to ha e one of a plurality of possible resistance states based on the application of oltages or currents abo e a minimum threshold necessary for change in the memristance states. To a oid feedback with the crossbar structure the column wires may be formed from p -doped semiconductor material while the row wires may be formed from n -doped semiconductor material which establishes in each crossbar junction a diode junction allowing signal current flow only in the direction from the column wires to the row wires. The net effect of this type of configuration produces output current signals (I , I2, I3, I4) based on both the 1 input oltage signals (V1, V2, V3, V4) and the particular conducti ity states of the 52

memristance material at the crossbar junctions. Assuming that losses due to parasitic and rectification effects are minimal the o erall transfer function between the input oltages and output currents may be compactly expressed as (usingKirchhoff's current law): Ij(t) = ™ Gij x Vi(t) where ™ is a summation operator with respect to index i, i and j represent the column and row indices (each ranging from 1 to 4 in the illustrated example) and Gijis a matrix representing the programmed conductances of the crossbar at the intersection of the th i column and jth row. The benefit of this approach is that a large range of complex wa e signals can be generated based on a relati ely small set of simpler signals ser ing as basis functions. Using a programming circuit to periodically change the states of the memristors in the crossbar junctions can effecti ely alter isual, audio, or other stimulated experiences which a particular combination of brain wa es may represe nt.

Fig. 26 illustrates a similar configuration as that of Fig. 25 except that the memristor crossbar is configured as an output de ice to detect brain wa es and translate the brain wa es into signals suitable for a computer or microcontroller. In this case the row wires may be formed from p-doped semiconductor material and the column wires may be formed from n-doped semiconductor material to a oid feedback paths within the crossbar. The


output currents may similarly be expressed (again assuming that losses due to parasitic and rectification effects are minimal) as Ii(t) = ™ Gji x Vj(t) where ™ is a summation operator with respect to index j, i and j represent the column and row indices (each ranging from 1 to 4 in the illustrated example) and Gji is a matrix representing the programmed conductances of the crossbar at the intersection of the ith column and jth row. In this case instead of attempting to generate a complex waveform replicating the function of a brain wave from simple waveforms the memristor crossbar could be used to filter complex waveforms generated by the human brain and produce simpler waveform patterns which may be easier for a computer to interpret. 

One key difficulty in implementing nanoscale memristor crossbars is interfacing the crossbars with more conventional electronics systems. Since the interconnect wiring in most electronic designs may have widths on the order of microns some type of addressing system will be necessay to encode and decode data between the microscale wires of the conventional electronics and the nanoscale wires of the crossbars. A demultiplexer system was invented by researchers at Hewlett-Packard in 1999 to deal with this problem. While this type of addressing system has been improved over the past several years by various reseachers at HP and elsewhere, the addition of the demultiplexing circuitry make the crossbar design more complex. Another difficulty in the integration of nanoscale memristor crossbars and conventional electronics systems is that different manufacturing techniques are used for making conventional electronics such as CMOS and the nanoscale crossbars. CMOS fabrication typically involves steps of film deposition, lithography, etching, doping, etc. which usually occur at specific temperatures and pressures in a clean room environment. Meanwhile nanoscale crossbar fabrication steps often employ techniques such as nanoimprint lithography and self-assembly which usually occur under very different environmental 54

conditions. Researchers have considered fabricating crossbars on top of CMOS circuitry in a system called "CMOL" however this may not be a promising approach since CMOS structures often have a top protective layer which is non-planer leading to an increase in defects if the nanowires were to be patterned on the surface. A better solution to the problem of interconnecting nanoscale crossbars to microelectronics may emerge from a tool well known for use in inspecting nanoscale structures - the atomic force microscope. While originally invented to inspect matter on the nanoscale, the uses of this tool have been expanded in recent years to include fabrication on the nanoscale and massive arrays of microfabricated AFMs have been developed by a company called Nanoink as a way to coat nanoscale line width patterns on a substrate. By forming the AFM tips of an electrically conductive material this same type of technology may be used to address individual input and output nanowires of nanoscale crossbar arrays. This implementation of AFM tips to nanowire crossbar arrays is covered by my patent US 7,342,413 which teaches selectively forming connections between microcircuitry and particlular row and column wires of the crossbar using the micropositioning elements associated with the AFM. Taking this concept a step further an arrangement of nanoscale interconnect tips formed of a resilient material (such as high density arrays of vertical multiwall carbon nanotubes) may be fabricated to extend from a second substrate separately from a first substrate on which nanoscale crossbars are formed. This first and second substrate may then be affixed relative to one another in an opposing fashion aligned via piezo based nanopositioning techniques. Such a technique may be used to interconnect plural crossbar arrays without using complex demultiplexing or multiplexing circuits as discussed in this pending patent application. 

One advantage of memristors to electronics is their ease of configurability. Since memristors can be switched between high and low resistances they may be used in a similar manner as fuses used to selectively open and close connections between electronic circuit components. However, in contrast to many conventional fuses the switching may be repeatedly reconfigured. In addition, when combined with nanowire crossbar interconnect technology previously developed by Hewlett Packard millions of memristor interconnects may be formed in a microscopic amount of space. One powerful application 55

of such reconfigurability is in signal processing which may offer the potential to create electronic de ices more capable of adapting to different situations and exhibiting a form of learning which may ad ance efforts in artificial intelligence. Howe er, in order to use memristors in signal processors a suitable architecture needs to be created. One circuit element which may be ery useful to the construction of memristor based signal processors is the operational amplifier, or op-amp for short. In one configuration, as illustrated in Fig. 3, an op-amp is pro ided with negati e feedback which produces an in erting amplifier. Such a configuration results in the in erting and non in erting input terminals to be forced to a common potential and the input current flowing through R1 is balanced by the current flowing through R2 . Combined with Ohm's Law this results in an amplication factor between the output and input oltages set to the ratio between resistances R2 and R1.

Since memristors ha e the capacity to switch between high and low resistance states an array of memristors may be pro ided in a crossbar configuration to enhance the operability and configurability of op-amps. Crossbars are basically formed from a first array of ertical conducti e wires and a second array of hori ontal conducti e wires. Between the two arrays is formed the memristance material so that any particular wire in the ertical array can be connected to a wire in the hori ontal array by switching the resistance of a particular intersection (i.e. crosspoint) to a low state (essentially a short circuit) with the remainder of the crosspoints remaining in a high resistance state (essentially an open circuit). By separating adjacent ertical wires of the crossbar array with time delay elements and connecting different resistance alues between the hori ontal wires and the 56

in erting terminal of the op-amp both the amplitude and time delay of the output signal Vout(t) relati e to the input signal Vin(t) can be determined by the crosspoints configured to be in the low resistance state. Fig 4 illustrates such a configuration in which the upperleftmost crosspoint is at a low resistance state and all of the othercrosspoints are in the high resistance state. Fig. 5 illustrates a reconfiguration of the crossbar array so that a different crosspoint is in the low resistance state. This configuration results in a doubling of the amplification factor compared to the configuration of Fig. 4 (i.e. R/(R/2) = 2) and a relati e delay of the signal.

By configuring a single crosspoint to a low resistance state 16 different possible signal outputs are possible, howe er by allowing for the configuration of multiple crosspoints a maximum of 216 = 65,536 possible signal transformations are possible (note: in o rder to pre ent unwanted feedback paths within the crossbar a rectification layer may be pro ided or p-type and n-type doping may be performed creating diode junctions at each crosspoint). By using a periodic pulse as the input signal and pro iding a large crossbar array with r finer time delay between adjacent columns of the crossbar and a larger range of resistances for the different rows there is potential to create a uni ersal wa eform generator capable of adapting the amplitude and timing of signals in accordance with a applying signal harmonics (i.e. sin ariety of desired applications. An alternati e example of a memristor signal processorcould include t, sin 2 t, sin 3 t, ..) instead of time delays to establish a programmable wa eform based on Fourier series.


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External links
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Technical FAQ by Memristor lead scientist, Stan Williams of HP Labs May 20, 2008 "Talk of the Nation" interview with co-discover Stan Williams of HP May 10, 2008 HP Reveals Memristor, The Fourth Passive Circuit Element April 30, 2008 BBC News - Electronics' 'missing link' found May 1, 2008 Nature News - Found: the missing circuit element Apr 30, 2008 Wired.com - Scientists Create First Memristor: Missing Fourth Electronic Circuit Element April 30, 2008 EE Times - 'Missing link' memristor created: Rewrite the textbooks? April 30, 2008 IEEE Spectrum - The Mysterious Memristor, by Sally Adee May 2008 IEEE Spectrum - How We Found the Missing Memristor, by R. Stanley Williams Dec 2008 Solid-state thin-film memristor for electronic neural networks - Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 67 March 1990 A knol on memristors discussing applications in signal processing and filtering, artificial intelligence, computer/brain interfaces, etc. Memristive switching mechanism for metal/oxide/metal nanodevices July 15, 2008 Java simulations of memristor circuits Dec 3, 2008 Youtube video of 2008 Memristor and Memristive Systems Symposium at UC Berkeley Circuit elements with memory: memristors, memcapacitors and meminductors January 23, 2009 An Introduction to Memimpedance and Memadmittance Systems Analysis A knol discussing companies involved in memristor electronics


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