Summary of the Faraday Discussion on New memory paradigms: memristive phenomena and neuromorphic applications
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The Faraday Discussion on New memory paradigms: memristive phenomena and neuromorphic systems was held from October 15-17 on the campus of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen University, or RWTH Aachen University, under the auspices of the Royal Society of Chemistry. The Discussion brought together over 100 experts and students from over 20 different countries to present, question, and debate the latest breakthroughs in a field that is exhibiting dramatic growth. There were a large number of excellent oral presentations and posters covering the topics of the Discussion, and the conversations among the participants were lively and informative. The first day and a half encompassed the experimental characterization and analysis of memristors for which the primary resistive switching mechanisms involved electrochemical metallization, chemical valence transformation, or thermodynamic phase change, which illustrated the diversity of the physical properties that can be harnessed for building memristive systems. The final half-day of the Discussion was devoted to synaptic and neuromorphic functions of memristors, which have been growing explosively in the past few years and demonstrate that resistive switching is important for much more than a non-volatile memory, but can also be utilized for learning and computation. The high quality of the presentations and discussions in this section demonstrated that this new research area has been solidly launched and we can expect significant advancements and real applications within a few years as new discoveries from biology are incorporated into neuromorphic hardware. I will not attempt to recapitulate the content of all of the sessions here, since the papers collected for this Faraday Discussions volume speak more eloquently for themselves than I can affect. What I hope to accomplish is to point out a few general concepts that arose when considering multiple papers together, especially during the discussions, and point out a particularly novel concept that deserves special attention.
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