Materials (Jul 2019)

Hybrid Circuit of Memristor and Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor for Defect-Tolerant Spatial Pooling with Boost-Factor Adjustment

  • Tien Van Nguyen,
  • Khoa Van Pham,
  • Kyeong-Sik Min

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 13
p. 2122


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Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM) has been known as a software framework to model the brain’s neocortical operation. However, mimicking the brain’s neocortical operation by not software but hardware is more desirable, because the hardware can not only describe the neocortical operation, but can also employ the brain’s architectural advantages. To develop a hybrid circuit of memristor and Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) for realizing HTM’s spatial pooler (SP) by hardware, memristor defects such as stuck-at-faults and variations should be considered. For solving the defect problem, we first show that the boost-factor adjustment can make HTM’s SP defect-tolerant, because the false activation of defective columns are suppressed. Second, we propose a memristor-CMOS hybrid circuit with the boost-factor adjustment to realize this defect-tolerant SP by hardware. The proposed circuit does not rely on the conventional defect-aware mapping scheme, which cannot avoid the false activation of defective columns. For the Modified subset of National Institute of Standards and Technology (MNIST) vectors, the boost-factor adjusted crossbar with defects = 10% shows a rate loss of only ~0.6%, compared to the ideal crossbar with defects = 0%. On the contrary, the defect-aware mapping without the boost-factor adjustment demonstrates a significant rate loss of ~21.0%. The energy overhead of the boost-factor adjustment is only ~0.05% of the programming energy of memristor synapse crossbar.