Memristors made into low cost, high density RRAM (Resistive Random Access Memory)

memristor-memory

The four passive components of electronics are the resistor, capacitor, inductor and the memristor, which was discovered only a few months ago.

Memristors (from memory-resistors, geddit?) are resistors whose resistance depends on their past.  In that sense they remember the past or, as an electronics engineer might put it,  they store information.

So new are memristors that nobody has had much time to think about what they might be useful for. That’s changing quickly.

A couple of months back we saw how they could be used to make neural nets that mimic the “intelligent” behaviour  of slime mould.

Now Tom Driscoll and buddies at the University of California, San Diego have shown how memristors could work as low cost, high density memory.

It turns out that a thin film of vanadium oxide acts like a memrister when a current is passed through it. At a certain critical temperature, the current triggers a phase change in the film, turning it from an insulator to a metal-like conductor. And that significantly changes it’s resistance in a way that can be measured for hours afterwards. In effect, the resistor stores a singe bit of information.

Driscoll calls it resistive random access memory or RRAM, in which information is stored in the form of material resistance, which can be changed by an applied voltage .

Other substances, such as titanium oxide, also display similar memristive behaviour which could be adpated for memory related applications. And work is on going to characterise these.

Expect to hear a lot more about them this year.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/0901.0899: Phase-Transition Driven Memristive System

14 Responses to “Memristors made into low cost, high density RRAM (Resistive Random Access Memory)”

  1. [...] is stored in the form of material resistance, which can be changed by an applied voltage [link] Taxon: RRAM, vanadium dioxide | Posted in Flash Storage, News | Comment | Trackback | RSS [...]

  2. Sean says:

    This is indeed exciting. IEEE featured an article titled “Making the Memristor” in their Spuctrum magazine. Imagine – computers that boot immediately, and the ability to hold terabytes on a thumb drive…

  3. [...] arXiv (vía Slashdot) // SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Una nueva y prometedora idea para memorias”, url: “http://www.theinquirer.es/2009/01/12/una-nueva-y-prometedora-idea-para-memorias.html” }); [...]

  4. [...] Memristors made into low cost, high density RRAM (vía Slashdot) [...]

  5. Seth says:

    TYPO: which could be adpated for memory related applications

  6. Dubious says:

    How is this a “passive” circuit element? It’s less passive than a diode or a transistor — the material itself has to be changed by the current! The claim that a “memristor” is as fundamental as the capacitor, inductor, and plain-old-linear resistor is absurd and grandiose.

  7. Scott says:

    It’s neither absurd nor grandiose, it’s a matter of conceptual symmetry. See the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memristor

  8. [...] University of California, San Diego researchers have shown how memristors (resistors with memory) could work as low cost, high density memory. (Source: http://arxivblog.com/?p=1080) [...]

  9. Scoobious says:

    Dubious, I think YOU are being absurd and grandiose.

  10. [...] Memristors made into low cost, high density RRAM (vía Slashdot) [...]

  11. Spirckle says:

    It may not be grandiose but it’s a little on the absurd side to claim this is a matter of conceptual symmetry. The original memristor theory prescribed a magnetic flux based model specifically to achieve conceptual symmetry. This implementation is solid state and does not use magnetic flux, therefore no conceptual symmetry.

  12. Donald Nagy says:

    This component was on my desk – hooked up to an oscilloscope – at IBM, San Jose, CA -
    1969.

    Reply and I will share with you how to select the chemicals used to assemble and the hook up logic.

    It works!

  13. Dr Neeta says:

    making a memristor – in IEEE spectrum is an eyeopener. switching on and off is a past; how much on is a question now. As the on off ratio is 10,000:1.
    Really exciting discovery which can simulate a synapse.

  14. Abhijit says:

    Hi, I am writitng an article on Memristors. So, can someone help me put in the following questions or provide me specific links that would help me get answer for these questions.

    1. What are the applications of Memristors?
    2. When can we see a device with Memristors inside?

    Regards
    Abhijit