To make tremendously compact ,low-power memory chips and processors that imitate natural networks to offer tasks like handling robots and face detection a chip named as memristor has been developed by HP‘s researchers for this purpose.
This device has been based on a theory that is almost forty year old. In electrical engineering circuits are built through three inert electronic gadgets and they are capacitors, inductors and resistors. But a scientist named Leon Chua was of the view that another fourth device the memristor was also possible and its properties should be far greater than the other available electronics devices of that kind. This theory was presented in 1971 but at that time it was rejected by many other scientists and researchers but now after forty years it has proved that Chua was absolutely right. The working memristor that has been developed by HP researcher is an evident proof of Chau’s theory accuracy.
The use of this memristors is very similar to other simple switches that can be turned off and on and it acts in a very similar way as transistors work in those chips that are used in computers now a days. However, one aspect that differentiates memristors to transistor is that in memristore different resistance levels can be easily set while transistors are developed to flick quickly just between two specific states.
Secondly memristore are set just once and they keep in memory the setting of resistance and this ability to memorize the setting makes them quicker, thicker and life long types of memory
This ability of memristors to settle to a range of values shows them as somewhat similar to those synapses that are found between the brain and neurons. And this factor makes it able to know to recognize speeches and faces far better than other existing computer chips are able to do so. In this way they may prove very helpful in those processors that are used in robots that allow them to learn how they can walk.
R. Stanley Williams, the leader of the researchers’ group that worked to develop that memristore, is of the view that the device is very simple and impressive as well. R. Stanley Williams describes that in the new issue of the Journal named as Nature. In memristore two titanium dioxide layers are spread between tow metal contacts. In these two layers one has the normal ratio of titanium and oxygen atoms while in the second one only fewer oxygen atoms are found than usual. These less or missing oxygen atoms develop a gap in these materials and these gaps alter its electrons properties.
Opposite voltage are applied to switch off the device and these opposite voltage brings the oxygen back into the first layer.
Memristores speed recommends that they will prove even many times faster than flash memory and other type of memory. Intel and others are also trying to develop another kind of nonvolatile memory as a replacement for flash memory.
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