Advanced Memristor Materials and 3D Integration Architectures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-10-C-0098
Agency Tracking Number: F09B-T23-0317
Amount: $99,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: AF09-BT23
Solicitation Number: 2009.B
Small Business Information
1250 Capital of Texas Highway South, Building 3, Suite 400, Austin, TX, 78746
DUNS: 788622012
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Burt Fowler
 Principal Investigator
 (512) 431-8460
Business Contact
 Glenn Mortland
Title: President
Phone: (512) 633-3476
Research Institution
 Rice University
 James M Tour
 6100 Main St. MS 222
Houston, TX, 77005
 (713) 348-6246
 Nonprofit college or university
PrivaTran proposes the use of newly-developed manufacturing methods that convert materials commonly found in conventional integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing into memristor devices with increased packing density and an advanced, three-dimensional (3D) architecture. The memristor devices can be formed in the interconnect layers of a conventional IC so that the area available for underlying transistors is not affected. This approach results in a 3D architecture achieved using a single substrate without the need for bonding multiple die together with flip-chip or through-silicon-via technologies. Furthermore, the memristor devices are much smaller than single transistors for any given technology node, and will scale to smaller dimensions as IC technology continues to progress towards smaller and smaller transistor sizes. The two-terminal memristor devices have numerous advantages including on/off conductance ratios greater than 104, reversible and fast switching, long retention times and immunity to current-induced degradation. In addition, their inherent simplicity makes them highly compatible with Si-based microelectronics technology, leading to a 3D architecture that can be readily transferred into semiconductor products at the most basic, integrated circuit level. BENEFIT: The memristor is of great interest to the Department of Defense (DoD) since it can potentially revolutionize numerous analog and digital circuit technologies. Specific Air Force applications that would benefit from this technology include tunable RF circuits in software defined radios, delta sigma modulators, and analog-to-digital converters (ADC). Furthermore, memristors can theoretically be used to simulate the human synapse, making them useful for non-Boolean, neuromorphic computing, which is an attractive computing technique due to its massive parallelism, scalability, and inherent fault-tolerance. Such neuromorphic computers could lead to game changing capabilities in managing and exploiting the global information grid, as well as enabling revolutionary advancements in cyber information processing and “cloud computing,” which requires an IT infrastructure of hundreds of thousands of servers and storage systems. The memristor can also be used for nonvolatile memory. Applications include radiation hardened devices for space-based surveillance platforms, launch vehicles and miniature kill vehicles for the MDA ballistic missile defense system; integrated sensor systems for imaging sensors used for automatic object identification and target recognition; friend or foe identification; and theater threat assessment. The DoD is aggressively developing robotic technologies for unmanned and totally autonomous air, ground, and sea vehicles which require a multitude of sensors and high-speed, high-density, low-power memories for obstacle detection, identification, and avoidance, as well as the recording, compression, decoding, and real time image processing of imaging sensor data.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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