Electrical and Computer Engineering
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Dissertation Defense

Training Memristors For Reliable Computation

Idongesit Ebong

The computation goals of the digital computing world has been segmented into different factions. The goals are no longer stemmed in a purely speed/performance standpoint but added requirements point to power awareness. This need for technological advancement has pushed researchers into a CMOS+X field whereby CMOS transistors are utilized with emerging device technology in a hybrid space to combine the best of both worlds. This dissertation focuses on a CMOS+Memristor approach to computation since memristors have been proposed for a large application space from digital memory and digital logic to neuromorphic and self-assembling circuits.
Specifically three application spaces are investigated. The first is a neuromorphic approach whereby spike-timing-dependent-plasticity (STDP) can be combined with memristors in order to withstand noise in circuits. The second application is memory; specifically we show a procedure to program and erase a memristor memory. The third approach is an attempt to bridge higher level learning to a memristor crossbar therefore paving the way to realizing self-configurable circuits. The approach or training methodology is compared to Q-Learning to re-emphasize that reliably using memristors may require not knowing the precise resistance of each device but instead working with relative magnitudes of one device to another.

Sponsored by

Professor Pinaki Mazumder