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U.S. military to use memristors for neural computing

From David Cassel: The military is funding a project to create neural computing using memristors, a sophisticated circuit component which HP Labs describes as a stepping stone to “computers that can make decisions” and “appliances that learn from experience.”

In a video, HP researcher R. Stanley Williams explains how his team created the first memristor in 2008, while the article also explains how U.C. researchers made an even more startling discovery: the memristor “already existed in nature.” It matches the electrical activity controlling the flux of potassium and sodium ions across a cell membrane, suggesting memristors could ultimately function like a human synapse, providing the “missing link” of memory technology.

HP believes memristors “could one day lead to computer systems that can remember and associate patterns in a way similar to how people do.” But DARPA’s SyNAPSE project already appears committed to scaling memristor technology to perform like a human synapse.  —Chris Peterson

3 Responses to “U.S. military to use memristors for neural computing”

  1. The memristor rises; commercialization and academic research in the US; carbon nanotubes could be made safer than we thought « FrogHeart Says:

    [...] turn it back on). In the longer term, they talk about hardware being able to learn. (Thanks to the Foresight Institute for the latest update on the memristor story and the pointer to HPlus.) Do visit the HPlus site as [...]

  2. Forrest Bennett Says:

    Forgive my pedantry, but if you look into the history of this they didn’t actually create the first memristor in 2008. Rather, they were the first group to create memristors *on purpose*. As Williams himself reports in other lectures and papers, people had been creating memristor devices for decades, but just hadn’t realized it. Williams’ group was probably the first to actually realize that these devices were the same ones that had been described by Chua and dubbed the “memristor” back in 1971.

  3. Forrest Bennett Says:

    I was reminded by Blaise Mouttet that I neglected to mention Bernie Woodrow’s 3 terminal device that functions just like a memristor, and was built in 1960. Though it was not a solid state device.

    He also gave a link to a solid state memristor built in 1968 by F. Argall, 3 years before Chua coined the term. It was constructed of doped Titanium Dioxide, somewhat similar to HP’s device. You can see from the current-voltage behavior of the device that it is exactly a memristor.

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