High-Speed STDP Pulse Generator
Elisa Barney Smith
Memristors are a new type of devices that act as linear resistors at low voltages, but can be programmed to higher or lower resistances when certain pulses are applied. The neuromorphic computing group at Boise State has been using square pulses to program memristors and now wants to investigate how STDP (spike-timing-dependent-plasticity) can be used to program memristive devices. Because STDP is thought to be the mechanism with which the synapses in our brains are stimulated and “programmed,” using STDP pulses is an attractive option for use in neuromorphic computing applications that are inspired by how the brain works. Simulations using Matlab and Cadence were performed to see how the shape of STDP pulses changed how memristors were programmed. A programmer capable of sending STDP pulses several microseconds long to a memristor was designed and built using an FPGA, high-speed data card, and custom circuit. The memristor programmer will be used by the neuromorphic computing group to investigate the effects of STDP on memristors and to improve their memristor model.