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Memristor is a contraction of “memory resistor,” because that is exactly its function: to remember its history. A memristor is a two-terminal device whose resistance depends on the magnitude and polarity of the voltage applied to it and the length of time that voltage has been applied. When you turn off the voltage, the memristor remembers its most recent resistance until the next time you turn it on, whether that happens a day later or a year later.
A memristor is a resistor with memory; it’s a device which changes its resistance depending upon how much electrical charge flow through them. What is it? As its name implies, the memristor can "remember" how much current has passed through it. And by alternating the amount of current that passes through it, a memristor can also become a one-element circuit component with unique properties. Most notably, it can save its electronic state even when the current is turned off, making it a great candidate to replace today's flash memory. Memristors will theoretically be cheaper and far faster than flash memory, and allow far greater memory densities. They could also replace RAM chips as we know them, so that, after you turn off your computer, it will remember exactly what it was doing when you turn it back on, and return to work instantly. This lowering of cost and consolidating of components may lead to affordable, solid-state computers that fit in your pocket and run many times faster than today's PCs. Someday the memristor could spawn a whole new type of computer, thanks to its ability to remember a range of electrical states rather than the simplistic "on" and "off" states that today's digital processors recognize. By working with a dynamic range of data states in an analog mode, memristor-based computers could be capable of far more complex tasks than just shuttling ones and zeroes around.
imaged by an atomic force microscope The wires are about 50 nm.Resistor 2).An array of 17 purpose-built oxygen-doped titanium dioxide memristors built at HP Labs . causing a gradual and persistent change in electrical resistance The overview of all memory 1). Electric current through the memristors shifts the oxygen ions. or 150 atoms. wide. Inductor 4) Memristor 2 . Capacitor 3).
2. 1971: The theory of the Memristor 2008: HP has a working memristor prototype 1960s: Resistance switching End of 1990s: Research on resistance switching t Life Cycle of Memristor The memristor is formally defined as a two-terminal element in which the magnetic flux Φm between the terminals is a function of the amount of electric charge q that has passed through the device. Other scientists had already used fixed nonlinear flux-charge relationships. and capacitor. Each memristor is characterized by its memristance function describing the charge-dependent rate of change of flux with charge. 3 . MEMRISTOR THEORY Memristor 2. and inferred that the memristor is a similarly fundamental device. Chua extrapolated the conceptual symmetry between the resistor.1 History Memristor theory was formulated and named by Leon Chua in a 1971 paper. but Chua's theory introduces generality. inductor.
Alternating Current. 4 . If M(q(t)) increases rapidly. Solving for voltage as a function of time we obtain This equation reveals that memristance defines a linear relationship between current and voltage. the memristor will appear as a resistor.ø Noting from FARADAY'S LAW OF INDUCTION that magnetic flux is simply the time integral of voltage. nonzero current implies time varying charge. however. the memristor is static if no current is applied. As long as M(q(t)) varies little. and charge is the time integral of current. current and power consumption will quickly stop. may reveal the linear dependence in circuit operation by inducing a measurable voltage without net charge movement—as long as the maximum change in q does not cause much change in M. The power consumption characteristic recalls that of a resistor. If M(q(t)) is a constant. such as under alternating current. however. then we obtain OHM'S LAW R(t) = V(t)/ I(t). Of course. If M(q(t)) is nontrivial. we find V(t) = 0 and M(t) is constant. the equation is not equivalent because q(t) and M(q(t)) will vary with time. however. we may write the more convenient form It can be inferred from this that memristance is simply charge-dependent resistance. Furthermore. I2R. This is the essence of the memory effect. If I(t) = 0. as long as charge does not vary.
a simple wire loop with low resistance will have high flux linkage to an applied field as little flux is "induced" in the opposite direction. The opposing flux induced in a resistor must also increase indefinitely so their sum remains finite." The upshot is that a passive element may relate some variable to flux without storing a magnetic field. which states that the voltage in terms of energy gained around a loop (electromotive force) equals the negative derivative of the flux through the loop: This notion may be extended by analogy to a single passive device. In the absence of resistance. we find that it may readily be calculated. For example.2 Magnetic Flux in a Passive Device In circuit theory. Voltage for passive devices is evaluated in terms of energy lost by a unit of charge: Observing that Φm is simply equal to the integral of the potential drop between two points. a memristor always appears instantaneously as a 5 . magnetic flux Φm typically relates to FARADAY'S LAW OF INDUCTION. for example by an operational amplifier configured as an integrator. Indeed. flux due to constant EMF increases indefinitely.2. Two unintuitive concepts are at play: • Magnetic flux is generated by a resistance in opposition to an applied field or electromotive force. then the total flux is equal to the sum of the flux components due to each device. If the circuit is composed of passive devices. • Any appropriate response to applied voltage may be called "magnetic flux.
or an infinitely strong field. For a memristor to switch from Ron to Roff in time Ton to Toff. e. would be required to store a number which grows arbitrarily large. this would encounter some kind of quantization and non-ideal behavior. such that Φm = ∫M(q)dq = ∫M(q(t))I dt remains bounded but continues changing at an ever-decreasing rate. Three alternatives avoid this physical impossibility: • M(q) approaches zero. Such devices may be characterized as switches by investigating the time and energy that must be spent in order to achieve a desired change in resistance. 6 . This contrasts with an inductor. infinite memory resources.g. assuming non-negative resistance. Here we will assume that the applied voltage remains constant and solve for the energy dissipation during a single switching event. so that M(q) = M(q − Δq) for all q and some Δq. • • M(q) is cyclic. As shown above. The device enters hysteresis once a certain amount of charge has passed through. 2.resistor. for which a magnetic field stores all energy originating in the potential across its terminals. applied current or voltage will cause a great change in resistance. Numerically.4 Operation As A Switch For some memristors. 2. or otherwise ceases to act as a memristor.3 Physical Restrictions On M(Q) An applied constant voltage potential results in uniformly increasing Φm. Eventually. at any instant it is dissipating power from an applied EMF and thus has no outlet to dissipate a stored field into the circuit. later releasing it as an electromotive force within the circuit. the charge must change by ΔQ = Qon−Qoff. sin2(q/Q).
IMPLEMENTATIONS 3. also called the "hard-switching regime. one of which has a slight depletion of oxygen atoms. Such a device would act as a memristor under all conditions. This power characteristic differs fundamentally from that of a metal oxide semiconductor transistor. which is a capacitor-based device. the oxygen vacancies drift (see Fast ion conductor).1 Titanium dioxide memristor Interest in the memristor revived in 2008 when an experimental solid state version was reported by R. The oxygen vacancies act as charge carriers. meaning that the depleted layer has a much lower resistance than the non-depleted layer. When an electric field is applied. which is reversible by changing the direction of current. The device neither uses magnetic flux as the theoretical memristor suggested. but instead achieves a resistance dependent on the history of current using a chemical mechanism. Stanley Williams of Hewlett Packard. The HP device is composed of a thin (50 nm) titanium dioxide film between two 5 nm thick electrodes. The type of memristor described by Williams ceases to be ideal after switching over its entire resistance range and enters hysteresis. and then ∫dq/V = ∆Q/V for constant V. but would be less practical. there are two layers to the titanium dioxide film. the other Pt. the final state of the memristor in terms of charge does not depend on bias voltage. one Ti. 3. A solid-state device could not be constructed until the unusual behavior of nanoscale materials was better understood. Unlike the transistor. nor stores charge as a capacitor does. Thus the resistance of the film as a whole is dependent on how much charge has been passed through it in a particular direction. Since the HP device displays fast ion conduction at nanoscale. Initially.To arrive at the final expression. substitute V=I(q)M(q)." Another kind of switch would have a cyclic M(q) so that each off-on event would be followed by an on-off event under constant bias. changing the boundary between the high-resistance and lowresistance layers. it is considered a nano-ionic device.[ 7 .
On a short time scale. the adjustment of electron spin polarization is delayed because of the diffusion and relaxation processes causing a hysteresis-type behavior. This result was anticipated in the study of spin extraction at semiconductor/ferro magnet interfaces. but was not described in terms of memristive behavior.2 Spin Memristive Systems A fundamentally different mechanism for memristive behavior has been proposed by Yuriy V.Memristance is displayed only when both the doped layer and depleted layer contribute to resistance. 3. thus acting as a resistor until current is reversed. the device enters hysteresis. When an external control parameter (such as voltage) is changed. The mechanism of memristive behavior in such structures is based entirely on the electron spin degree of freedom which allows for a more convenient control than the ionic transport in nanostructures. Some of the graphs indicate a tunable resistance based on the number of applied voltage pulses similar to the effects found in the titanium dioxide memristor materials described in the Nature paper "The missing memristor found". It ceases to integrate q=∫Idt but rather keeps q at an upper bound and M fixed. When enough charge has passed through the memristor that the ions can no longer move. Pershin and Massimiliano Di Ventra in their paper "Spin memristive systems". This result broadens the possible range of applications of semiconductor spintronics and makes step forward in future practical applications of the concept of memristive systems.3 Manganite Memristive Systems Although not described using the word "memristor". these structures behave almost as an ideal memristor. 8 . The authors show that certain types of semiconductor spintronic structures belong to a broad class of memristive systems as defined by Chua and Kang. 3. a study was done of bilayer oxide films based on manganite for non-volatile memory by researchers at the University of Houston in 2001.
the current i. Such a learning circuit may find applications. and control systems. the voltage v. They can also be fashioned into non-volatile solid-state memory. Out of the six possible combinations of these four variables. HP has reported that its version of the memristor is about one-tenth the speed of DRAM. neural networks. similarly to the behavior of slime molds Physarum polycephalum subjected to periodic changes of environment. the charge q..g. 5. which would allow greater data density than hard drives with access times potentially similar to DRAM. taking up a much smaller area. in pattern recognition. HP prototyped a crossbar latch memory using the devices that can fit 100 gigabits in a square centimeter. Recently. 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. namely. MEMRISTOR-THE FOURTH BASICCIRCUIT ELEMENT From the circuit-theoretic point of view. POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS Williams' solid-state memristors can be combined into devices called crossbar latches.4. which could replace transistors in future computers. It was shown that the electronic circuit subjected to a train of periodic pulses learns and anticipates the next pulse to come. e. and the flux-linkage cp. Two of these relationships are already given by 9 . the three basic two-terminal circuit elements are defined in terms of a relationship between two of the four fundamental circuit variables. five have led to wellknown relationships . replacing both components. a simple electronic circuit consisting of an LC contour and a memristor was used to model experiments on adaptive behavior of unicellular organisms.
vC)] curve of a nonlinear inductor (capacitor). The proposed symbol of a memristor and a hypothetical memristor with any prescribed ø-q curve are shown in Fig. namely. These mutators.q) = 0 of a memristor. l(a). and (d). as will be shown later. a type-l M-R mutator would transform the VR -IR< curve of the nonlinear resistor f(VR.3 Hence. This element will henceforth be called the memristor because. Only one relationship remains undefined. 10 . From the logical as well as axiomatic points of view. Using a .mutator . the resistor (defined by a relationship between v and i). are defined and characterized in Table I. qC) or (qC. it behaves somewhat like a nonlinear resistor with memory. it is necessary for the sake of completeness to postulate the existence of a fourth basic two-terminal circuit element which is characterized by a ø-q curve. the inductor (defined by a relationship between cp and i). as shown in Fig. l(b). and an M-C mutator. of which there are two types of each.t Q(t) = ∫ t I (t) dt ∞ and Ø (t) = ∫ t ∞ v(t) dt . by the axiomatic definition of the three classical circuit elements.q)=O of a memristor. Three other relationships are given. the relationship between ø and q.VR)=O into the corresponding ø-q curve f(ø. or capacitor across port 2 of an M-R mutator. an M-L mutator. respectively. iL) or (iL.VR curve of the nonlinear resistor f(IR. inductor. IR)=O into the corresponding ø-q curve f(ø. In contrast to this. respectively. (c). øL) [(vC. and the capacitor (defined by a relationship between q and v). An analogous transformation is realized with an M-L mutator (M-C mutator) with respect to the ((øL. a curve can be realized by connecting an appropriate ø-q nonlinear resistor. a type-2 M-R mutator would transform the IR.
it carries a memory of its past. FEATURES The reason that the memristor is radically different from the other fundamental circuit elements is that. the memristor still remembers how much was applied before and for how long. unlike them. Memristor basic realization 1: M-R mutator terminated by nonlinear Resistor R. Researchers at HP Labs have discovered a fourth fundamental circuit element that can't be replicated by a 11 . 6. which is why the memristor qualifies as a fundamental circuit element.(a) Memristor and its ø-q curve. (c) Memristor basic realization 2: M-L mutator terminated by nonlinear inductor L (d) Memristor basic realization M-C mutator terminated by nonlinear capacitor C Proposed symbol for memristor and its three basic realizations.1 New 'Memristor' Could Make Computers Work like Human Brains After the resistor. That's an effect that can't be duplicated by any circuit combination of resistors. 6. (b). When you turn off the voltage to the circuit. capacitors. capacitor. and inductors. and inductor comes the memristor.
Researchers at HP Labs in Palo Alto. But instead. But this trend could begin to slow down as the components used in electronic circuits are shrunk to the size of just a few atoms." 12 . and they could be used to make appliances that "learn from experience.2 Memristors Make Chips Cheaper The first hybrid memristor-transistor chip could be cheaper and more energy efficient. unlike today's DRAM. Entire industries and research fields are devoted to ensuring that. With memristor-based system RAM. HP foresees memristors being used to make new types of system memory that can store information even after they lose power. The memristor (short for "memory resistor") is unique because of its ability to. They are nanoscale devices with unique properties: a variable resistance and the ability to remember the resistance even when the power is off.combination of the other three. Williams's team removes some transistors and replaces them with a smaller number of memristors. "We're not trying to crowd more transistors onto a chip or into a particular circuit. every year." Such brain-like systems would allow for vastly improved facial or biometric recognition. are betting that a new fundamental electronic component--the memristor--will keep computer power increasing at this rate for years to come. computers continue getting faster. in HP's words. "Hybrid memristor-transistor chips really have the promise for delivering a lot more performance. which would save time and power— especially since users could simply switch off systems instead of leaving them in a "sleep" mode 6." In PCs. CA." Williams says. PCs would no longer need to go through a boot process to load data from the hard drive into the memory." HP says the discovery of the memristor paves the way for anything from instant-on computers to systems that can "remember and associate series of events in a manner similar to the way a human brain recognizes patterns.Increasing performance has usually meant shrinking components so that more can be packed onto a circuit. "[retain] a history of the information it has acquired.
and go get a cup of coffee or go on vacation for two weeks. Eventually. These unusual properties make them interesting from both a scientific and an engineering point of view.3 Memristor as Digital and Analog A memristive device can function in both digital and analog forms. 6. “You could leave all your Word files and spreadsheets open. it could substitute conventional solid-state memories (Flash) with high-speed and less steeply priced nonvolatile random access memory (NVRAM). it would create digital cameras with no delay between photos or computers that save power by turning off when not needed and then turning back on instantly when needed. But because a memristor can remember voltages. Memristors could also prove to be a faster. A single memristor can perform the same logic functions as multiple transistors. 6.” says Williams. both having very diverse applications. HP says memristor-based RAM could one day replace DRAM altogether.A memristor acts a lot like a resistor but with one big difference: it can change resistance depending on the amount and direction of the voltage applied and can remember its resistance even when the voltage is turned off. a memristor-driven computer would arguably never need a reboot. smaller. making them a promising way to increase computer power. 13 . “When you come back. more energy-efficient alternative to flash storage. you turn on your computer and everything is instantly on the screen exactly the way you left it. turn off your computer. In digital mode.”that keeps memory powered.4 No Need of Rebooting 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.
" His team. But it's up to the business side to push products through to commercial reality." says Williams. "Because memristors are made of the same materials used in normal integrated circuits. he predicts that memristors will arrive in commercial circuits within the next three years." says Williams. using memristors in FPGAs could help significantly lower costs. the next few years could be very important for memristor research." "When you decide what logic operation you want to do. this type of FPGA will completely change the balance. In order to be so flexible. "the biggest impediment to getting memristors in the marketplace is having [so few] people who can actually design circuits [using memristors]. Still. built a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) using a new design that includes memristors made of the semiconductor titanium dioxide and far fewer transistors than normal. FPGAs are large and expensive. "it turns out to be very easy to integrate them with transistors. And once the design is done." he says. And now Williams's team has demonstrated a working memristor-transistor hybrid chip." he says. Engineers commonly use FPGAs to test prototype chip designs because they can be reconfigured to perform a wide variety of different tasks. When is it coming? Researchers say that no real barrier prevents implementing the memristor in circuitry immediately. however. According to Williams. engineers generally abandon FPGAs for leaner "application-specific integrated circuits. "What we're looking at is essentially pulling out all of the configuration bits and all of the transistor switches. Ultimately. Memristors made to replace flash memory (at a lower cost and lower 14 . which includes HP researcher Qiangfei Xia. you actually flip a bunch of switches and configuration bits in the circuit." Williams says. Right now.7. FUTURE OF MEMRISTOR Although memristor research is still in its infancy. "If our ideas work out. In the new chip. these tasks are performed by memristors. HP Labs is working on a handful of practical memristor projects.
Q5. HP's goal is to offer them by 2012.With the fact that it demonstrates all of the necessary operating characteristics. that step may take 20-plus years. Beyond that. What important market does it address? Data Storage Devices Q3. Nanoscale Electonics Experience 2. Does this look like a winning technology? ANS YES!!! SMALL SIZED technology is IN! .The smaller the device. Possible Brain-like system Q4. QUESTIONS ON MEMRISTOR Q1. Q2. . the more important memristance becomes. Can we make adaptations or enhancements? ANS neuroscience/engineering labs Redesigning of circuits to include memristors to obtain the same function with fewer components ◊ LESS EXPENSIVE and DECREASE IN POWER CONSUMPTION! ANS: Semiconductor Industries ANS: The problem of heat generation due to higher densities that also defects and affects 15 . As for memristor-based analog computers.power consumption) will likely appear first. Possible replacement for DRAM 3. What problem does this technology address? the basic physics of the devices. memristors will likely replace both DRAM and hard disks in the 2014-to-2016 time frame. What new capabilities come with this technology? ANS: 1. 8.
CONCLUSION The memristor is a super-dense.9. super fast digital memory that does not requires electrical current to keep its state (for computers that turns instantly on and off). and an analog simulation of the brain (by encoding synaptic strengths using memristors.). 16 . It is assumed that it’s going to hit the electronic market by 2012 and memristors will likely replace both DRAM and hard disks in the 2014-to-2016.
aspx? id=21710&pg=1 and 2  http://www.ieee.html http://www.org/wiki/Memristor http://www.technologyreview.time.10.wikipedia.x/14665  http://www.com/discussions.spectrum.com/alt-thinking/hp_feature_article.html http://www.1852747_1854493_1854 113.com/time/specials/packages/article/0.pcworld.org/may08/6207  http://techreport.com/bid/14833/Introducing-the-Memristor 17 .html  http://kyle-james. REFERENCES  http://en.pcworld.00.com/article/152683-2/future_tech.28804.com/article/1526832/15_hot_new_technologies_that_will_change_everything.
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