A memristor-based nonvolatile latch circuit.
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Memristive devices, which exhibit a dynamical conductance state that depends on the excitation history, can be used as nonvolatile memory elements by storing information as different conductance states. We describe the implementation of a nonvolatile synchronous flip-flop circuit that uses a nanoscale memristive device as the nonvolatile memory element. Controlled testing of the circuit demonstrated successful state storage and restoration, with an error rate of 0.1%, during 1000 power loss events. These results indicate that integration of digital logic devices and memristors could open the way for nonvolatile computation with applications in small platforms that rely on intermittent power sources. This demonstrated feasibility of tight integration of memristors with CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) circuitry challenges the traditional memory hierarchy, in which nonvolatile memory is only available as a large, slow, monolithic block at the bottom of the hierarchy. In contrast, the nonvolatile, memristor-based memory cell can be fast, fine-grained and small, and is compatible with conventional CMOS electronics. This threatens to upset the traditional memory hierarchy, and may open up new architectural possibilities beyond it.