Hybrid CMOS/Memristor Circuits as a Future Computing Paradigm

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 3:28pm

Electrical and Computer Engineering Conference Room, Harold Frank Hall Rm. 4164

Speaker: Dmitri Strukov, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories

Title: Hybrid CMOS/Memristor Circuits as a Future Computing Paradigm

I will present a novel computing paradigm, based on hybrid circuits made of a conventional CMOS layer complemented with back-end memristive (short for memory and resistor) crossbar layers. The basic idea of such circuits is to combine the advantages of the CMOS technology including its flexibility and high fabrication yield with those of ultra dense stackable crosspoint memristive devices. Such devices are naturally incorporated into the crossbar fabric enabling very high functional density at acceptable fabrication cost and can be effectively used in various applications which I will describe in my talk.
A memristor is a 2-terminal thin-film electrical circuit element that changes its resistance depending on the total amount of charge that flows through the device. We show that the memristance naturally arises in systems for which electronic and dopant equations of motion in a semiconductor are coupled in the presence of an applied electric field. While memristance was observed for at least fifty years it had never been given proper attention; however, it is very promising for a variety of digital and analog applications.

Detailed simulations have shown that proposed hybrid CMOS/memristor circuits not only can provide orders of magnitude improvements in density of digital memories and field programmable logic circuits over conventional end-of-the-roadmap counterparts, but also for the first time enable implementation of large scale neuromorphic networks for advanced information processing. This presentation will cover various aspects of the hybrid circuits including physical models of memristive devices, circuit architecture simulations, and some recent experimental results.

A research associate at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, CA, Dr. Strukov is working on the theoretical aspects of memristive devices and circuits. His interests include the physical implementation of computation, including device physics, circuit design, and high-level architecture, with emphasis on emerging device technologies. He received a MS in applied physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and a PhD in electrical engineering from Stony Brook University in New York.