Feeds

HP demonstrates mega-memory concept

Memristor work continues apace

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Research work on HP's never-ever-forget Memristor concept is proceeding apace. Memristor technology could provide a new type of computer memory that's much faster than flash memory. HP Labs' engineers in Palo Alto have demonstrated control over how the technology operates, opening the door, they say, to its incorporation into integrated circuits (ICs).

The researchers are members of the Information and Quantum Systems Lab led by HP Senior Fellow R. Stanley Williams. A description of their work was published in the advance online editon of the July issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology. It involved the building of a 50 x 50 nanometer memristor switch with two layers of titanium dioxide (TiO2) between two nanowires (electrodes) deployed in a crossbar architecture.

The top and bottom wires are arranged perpendicular to each other. One TiO2 layer has oxygen vacancies and is a semi-conductor. The other has no such vacancies and is an insulator. The TiO2 layers between the point where a top line crosses a bottom line act a single bit cell.

MemristorTo the right is an image from Wikipedia of a circuit with 17 memristors sandwiched between two top and bottom wires, captured by an atomic force microscope. The wires are 50nm - about 150 atoms - wide. Each memristor is composed of two layers of titanium dioxide, of different resistivities, connected to wire electrodes. As electric current is passed through the device, the boundary between the layers moves, changing the net resistance of the device. This change may be used to record information.

The device's function could be controlled by changing the distribution of the oxygen atoms in this layer. A voltage bias is applied across the crossbars and causes oxygen vacancies to migrate from one TiO2 layer to the other, lessening its insulation capability and making it conduct. Such changes were associated with the ability of current to flow through the switch with 'on' and 'off' conductivity states equating to 1 and 0, or vice-versa.

Reversing the voltage bias direction sends the oxygen vacancies back into the semi-conductor layer and the insulating function returns to the other layer. This is how the switch could be turned off.

Interestingly the researchers found that the switch could also deliver in-between states, like an analog electrical circuit, meaning it could return more than two numeric values. Exactly how many hasn't been determined. (See also an article on trinary digits with nanowire technology.)

A digital memristor device could be a replacement for flash, being much smaller, very fast and non-volatile. HP calls such a device RRAM, for resistive random-access memory, and suggest a working prototype could arrive in 2009.

The researchers also speculate that in analog mode it could operate as an analog computer in a way thought to be similar to how the human brain operates as a neural network. A system would come to a conclusion about some issue by summing or subtracting lots of memristors' in-between states to arrive at a judgement about an issue such as face or speech recognition.

However, the prime market focus is to provide a flash memory replacement.

Wikipedia has an excellent Memristor article.

Copyright © 2008, Blocks & Files.com

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
IBM rides nightmarish hardware landscape on OpenPOWER Consortium raft
Google mulls 'third-generation of warehouse-scale computing' on Big Blue's open chips
It's GOOD to get RAIN on your upgrade parade: Crucial M550 1TB SSD
Performance tweaks and power savings – what's not to like?
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.