‘Neuristor’: memristors used to create neuron-like behavior

December 27, 2012

A cartoon showing spikes of activity traveling among neurons (credit: UC Berkeley)

HP Labs researchers may have figured out a way to create a chip that generates neuron-like spikes (sharp signal pulses), using a combination of memristors and capacitors to create a spiking output pattern, Ars Technica reports.

Neurons encode information in the pattern and timing of  spikes. The researchers used a simplified model of neurons based on sodium-potassium ion channels to turn the neuron on and off.

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 authors have termed this device a “neuristor.”