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Memristors used to create neuron-like behavior

neuron.pngHP Labs researchers may have figured out a way to create a chip that generates neuron-like behavior, using a combination of memristors and capacitors to create a signal pattern similar to a neuron.


To get the sort of spiking behavior seen in a neuron, the authors turned to a simplified model of neurons that allow them to transmit signals. When a neuron fires, sodium channels open, allowing ions to rush into a nerve cell, and changing the relative charges inside and outside its membrane. In response to these changes, potassium channels then open, allowing different ions out, and restoring the charge balance. That shuts the whole thing down, and allows various pumps to start restoring the initial ion balance.”


Each unit consists of a capacitor (to allow it to build up charge) in parallel to a memristor (which allows the charge to be released suddenly. The combination produces spikes of activity as soon as a given voltage threshold is exceeded. The researchers called this circuit a “neuristor.”


The illustration is courtesy of UC Berkeley.

Labels: HP labs| memristor
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