Memristor minds: The future of artificial intelligence

July 11, 2009 at 11:37 am (Uncategorized)

“EVER had the feeling something is missing? … A fourth basic circuit element besides the standard trio of resistor, capacitor and inductor. Chua dubbed it the “memristor”. The only problem was that as far as anyone could see, memristors did not actually exist.” In the early 2000s Stan Williams, senior fellow at the Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, California tried to create a fast, low-power switch by placing two tiny resistors made of titanium dioxide over one another, using the current in one to somehow toggle the resistance in the other on and off. “They found that they could, but the resistance in different switches behaved in a way that was impossible to predict using any conventional model.”  They had created a memresistor. “What was happening was this: in its pure state of repeating units of one titanium and two oxygen atoms, titanium dioxide is a semiconductor. Heat the material, though, and some of the oxygen is driven out of the structure, leaving electrically charged bubbles that make the material behave like a metal.”

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