Bio-mimetic synaptic plasticity and learning in a sub-500 mV Cu/SiO2/W memristor

S. R. Nandakumar, Bipin Rajendran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The computational efficiency of the human brain is believed to stem from the parallel information processing capability of neurons with integrated storage in synaptic interconnections programmed by local spike triggered learning rules such as spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP). The extremely low operating voltages (approximately 100 mV) used to trigger neuronal signaling and synaptic adaptation is believed to be a critical reason for the brain's power efficiency. We demonstrate the feasibility of spike triggered STDP behavior in a two-terminal Cu/SiO2/W memristive device capable of operating below 500 mV. We analyze the state-dependent nature of conductance updates in the device to develop a phenomenological model. Using the model, we evaluate the potential of such devices to generate precise spike times under supervised learning conditions and classify handwritten digits from the MNIST dataset in an unsupervised learning setting. The results form a promising step towards creating a low power synaptic device capable of on-chip learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111290
JournalMicroelectronic Engineering
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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