Memristive Devices: The Opener for a New (P)Age in Electronics?

MemristorAs a result of billions of years of evolution, all living animals are extremely well adapted to inhabit their ecological niche. This implies species specific interaction with their immediate environment by assessing sensory cues and performing appropriate behavior. The information pathway in pattern recognition and cognitive tasks are of special interest as platform for reverse engineering. Moreover, those fascinating and manifold capabilities of nervous systems are executed by an extremely low power dissipation. These features represent attractive guidelines for entirely novel computing architectures. In cross-faculty initiative and together with external partners, Kiel University established a focus on bio-inspired computation compromising memristive devices, also called memristors, as the key element. The portmanteau “memristors” is an assembly of the words “memory” and “resistors”. The unique and attractive feature of the memristors is the fact, that the resistance depends on the previous charge flow through device accompanied with a memory (resistance storage) functionality. The chair of Nanoelectronics at the Faculty of Engineering develops memristors based on thin technology. The overwhelming goal is the exploration and identification of topological und dynamical phenomena in evolutionary early creatures. The interwoven mechanisms in nervous systems such, as neuronal synchrony, self-organized criticality, plasticity, connectomics and nervous system growth under external stimuli are essential of our research. Together with the cutting-edge technology of memristive and memsensor devices, combined with micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology, the goal is to turn a new page in information technology.

The distinct interdisciplinary character of the research and the participating scientists will prove to be a very fruitful strategy to tackle the cutting-edge science at the intersection of biology, information processing and technology. The CRC “Neurotronics: Bio-inspired Information Pathways” will explore and propel the research of novel hardware technologies as a cornerstone for novel bio-inspired computing architectures paving the way towards an unconventional information processing. We envision impacts in various research fields in science and technology, such as robotics and brain implants.

Automation and Control

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