4K-Memristor Analog-Grade Passive Crossbar Circuit

27 Jun 2019  ·  Hyungjin Kim, Hussein Nili, Mahmood Mahmoodi, Dmitri Strukov ·

The superior density of passive analog-grade memristive crossbars may enable storing large synaptic weight matrices directly on specialized neuromorphic chips, thus avoiding costly off-chip communication. To ensure efficient use of such crossbars in neuromorphic computing circuits, variations of current-voltage characteristics of crosspoint devices must be substantially lower than those of memory cells with select transistors. Apparently, this requirement explains why there were so few demonstrations of neuromorphic system prototypes using passive crossbars. Here we report a 64x64 passive metal-oxide memristor crossbar circuit with ~99% device yield, based on a foundry-compatible fabrication process featuring etch-down patterning and low-temperature budget, conducive to vertical integration. The achieved ~26% variations of switching voltages of our devices were sufficient for programming 4K-pixel gray-scale patterns with an average tuning error smaller than 4%. The analog properties were further verified by experimentally demonstrating MNIST pattern classification with a fidelity close to the software-modeled limit for a network of this size, with an ~1% average error of import of ex-situ-calculated synaptic weights. We believe that our work is a significant improvement over the state-of-the-art passive crossbar memories in both complexity and analog properties.

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