Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > U-M engineer's memristor chip could lead to faster, cheaper computers

Abstract:
The memristor is a computer component that offers both memory and logic functions in one simple package. It has the potential to transform the semiconductor industry, enabling smaller, faster, cheaper chips and computers.

U-M engineer's memristor chip could lead to faster, cheaper computers

Ann Arbor, MI | Posted on March 20th, 2009

A University of Michigan electrical engineer has taken a step toward this end by building a chip composed of nanoscale memristors that can store up to 1 kilobit of information.

Previously, only a few memristor circuits had been demonstrated, rather than such a large-scale array, due to reliability and reproducibility issues. While 1 kilobit is not a huge amount of information, the researchers consider it a leap that will make it easier to scale the technology so it can store much more data.

"We demonstrated CMOS-compatible, ultra-high-density memory arrays based on a silicon memristive system. This is an important first step." said Wei Lu, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. CMOS stands for complementary metal oxide semiconductor. It is the technology used in modern microchips.

Moore's law, which predicts that technology will double the number of transistors that fit on an integrated circuit every two years, has held true since the mid 1960s. The more transistors on a chip, the faster the chip can operate. But this is getting more and more difficult to achieve, Lu said.

"This transistor scaling now faces several practical and fundamental challenges including increased power dissipation as transistors shrink, difficulties in laying out all the necessary interconnects, and the high cost to minimize device variations," Lu said. "Memristors have a simpler structure and are attractive for applications such as memories because it is much easier to pack a large number of them on a single chip to achieve the highest possible density."

The density of a memristor-based memory chip could be at least an order of magnitude—a factor of 10—higher than current transistor-based chips. Such high density circuits can also be very fast, Lu says. You could save data to a memristor memory three orders of magnitude faster than saving to today's flash memory, for example.

Another benefit of memristor memory is that it's not volatile, as today's DRAM memory is. DRAM, which stands for dynamic random access memory, is part of your computer's quick-access memory that helps the machine run faster. DRAM is overwritten multiple times a second because it fades with time. Memristor memory would not have to be overwritten. It is more stable.

Lu says memristors could open the door to universal memory. And because of how densely they can be crammed onto integrated circuits, memristors also offer hope for robust biologically-inspired logic circuits. Each neuron in the human brain is connected to 10,000 other neurons through synapses, Lu says. Engineers can't achieve that kind of connectivity with today's transistor-based circuits. But memristor circuits could potentially overcome this problem.

A paper on this research, "High-density crossbar arrays based on a Si memristive system," is published in Nano Letters. Other authors are Sung Hyun Jo and Kuk-Hwan Kim, doctoral students in Lu's department.

This research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

####

About University of Michigan
The University of Michigan College of Engineering is ranked among the top engineering schools in the country. At more than $130 million annually, its engineering research budget is one of largest of any public university. Michigan Engineering is home to 11 academic departments and a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. The college plays a leading role in the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute and hosts the world class Lurie Nanofabrication Facility. For more information, visit: www.engin.umich.edu

Contacts:
Nicole Moore
734-647-1838

Copyright © University of Michigan

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

Attosecond physics: A switch for light-wave electronics May 24th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Possible Futures

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Dartmouth team creates new method to control quantum systems May 24th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

Chip Technology

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Dartmouth team creates new method to control quantum systems May 24th, 2016

Attosecond physics: A switch for light-wave electronics May 24th, 2016

Physicists create first metamaterial with rewritable magnetic ordering May 23rd, 2016

Memory Technology

Hybrid nanoantennas -- next-generation platform for ultradense data recording April 28th, 2016

Magnetic vortices defy temperature fluctuations: Common magnetic mineral is reliable witness to Earth's history April 19th, 2016

A single-atom magnet breaks new ground for future data storage April 15th, 2016

Ames Laboratory physicists discover new material that may speed computing April 12th, 2016

Nanoelectronics

Researchers demonstrate size quantization of Dirac fermions in graphene: Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices May 20th, 2016

Graphene: A quantum of current - When current comes in discrete packages: Viennese scientists unravel the quantum properties of the carbon material graphene May 20th, 2016

New type of graphene-based transistor will increase the clock speed of processors: Scientists have developed a new type of graphene-based transistor and using modeling they have demonstrated that it has ultralow power consumption compared with other similar transistor devices May 19th, 2016

Self-healing, flexible electronic material restores functions after many breaks May 17th, 2016

Announcements

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

Attosecond physics: A switch for light-wave electronics May 24th, 2016

Supercrystals with new architecture can enhance drug synthesis May 24th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic