Micromachines (Jul 2021)

Memristor-CMOS Hybrid Neuron Circuit with Nonideal-Effect Correction Related to Parasitic Resistance for Binary-Memristor-Crossbar Neural Networks

  • Tien Van Nguyen,
  • Jiyong An,
  • Kyeong-Sik Min

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 791
p. 791


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Voltages and currents in a memristor crossbar can be significantly affected due to nonideal effects such as parasitic source, line, and neuron resistance. These nonideal effects related to the parasitic resistance can cause the degradation of the neural network’s performance realized with the nonideal memristor crossbar. To avoid performance degradation due to the parasitic-resistance-related nonideal effects, adaptive training methods were proposed previously. However, the complicated training algorithm could add a heavy computational burden to the neural network hardware. Especially, the hardware and algorithmic burden can be more serious for edge intelligence applications such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. In this paper, a memristor-CMOS hybrid neuron circuit is proposed for compensating the parasitic-resistance-related nonideal effects during not the training phase but the inference one, where the complicated adaptive training is not needed. Moreover, unlike the previous linear correction method performed by the external hardware, the proposed correction circuit can be included in the memristor crossbar to minimize the power and hardware overheads for compensating the nonideal effects. The proposed correction circuit has been verified to be able to restore the degradation of source and output voltages in the nonideal crossbar. For the source voltage, the average percentage error of the uncompensated crossbar is as large as 36.7%. If the correction circuit is used, the percentage error in the source voltage can be reduced from 36.7% to 7.5%. For the output voltage, the average percentage error of the uncompensated crossbar is as large as 65.2%. The correction circuit can improve the percentage error in the output voltage from 65.2% to 8.6%. Almost the percentage error can be reduced to ~1/7 if the correction circuit is used. The nonideal memristor crossbar with the correction circuit has been tested for MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets in this paper. For MNIST, the uncompensated and compensated crossbars indicate the recognition rate of 90.4% and 95.1%, respectively, compared to 95.5% of the ideal crossbar. For CIFAR-10, the nonideal crossbars without and with the nonideal-effect correction show the rate of 85.3% and 88.1%, respectively, compared to the ideal crossbar achieving the rate as large as 88.9%.