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Logic circuits that program themselves: memristors in action

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Geplaatst op 28 januari 2009 - 15:40

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Since 1972, scientists have known there are four basic circuit components, but if you've spent any time in an electrical engineering classroom, you probably only have experience with three: capacitor, inductor, and resistor. The fourth basic component, the memristor, had remained stuck in the domain of theory--a nice idea that even the theorists thought had few practical uses. Last year, scientists at Hewlitt-Packard (HP) demonstrated the first functional solid-state memristor, made from thin films of TiO2, and discovered it had an abundance of unique and highly promising properties.

A study released Monday by The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that these same TiO2 memristors can be fabricated into functional and reprogrammable integrated circuits. Scientists at HP combined a crossbar architecture of memristors with field effect transistors (FETs) to produce a convincing proof-of-concept device that includes circuits that can dynamically reprogram themselves, acting a bit like a solid-state nerve cell-like operation--a holy grail of electrical engineering.

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