A memristor (pronounced /ˈmɛmrɨstər/; a portmanteau of “memory resistor”) is a passive two-terminal circuit element in which the resistance is a function of the history of the current through and voltage across the device. Memristor theory was formulated and named by Leon Chua in a 1971 paper.

On April 30, 2008, a team at HP Labs announced the development of a switching memristor based on a thin film of titanium dioxide. It has a regime of operation with an approximately linear charge-resistance relationship as long as the time-integral of the current stays within certain bounds. These devices are being developed for application in nanoelectronic memories, computer logic, and neuromorphic computer architectures….


A memristor is a passive two-terminal electronic component for which the resistance (dV/dI) depends in some way on the amount of charge that has flowed through the circuit. When current flows in one direction through the device, the resistance increases; and when current flows in the opposite direction, the resistance decreases, although it must remain positive. When the current is stopped, the component retains the last resistance that it had, and when the flow of charge starts again, the resistance of the circuit will be what it was when it was last active.

More generally, a memristor is a two-terminal component in which the resistance depends on the integral of the input applied to the terminals (rather than on the instantaneous value of the input as in a varistor). Since the element “remembers” the amount of current that has passed through it in the past, it was tagged by Chua with the name “memristor.” Another way of describing a memristor is that it is any passive two-terminal circuit elements that maintains a functional relationship between the time integral of current (called charge) and the time integral of voltage (often called flux, as it is related to magnetic flux). The slope of this function is called the memristance M and is similar to variable resistance. Batteries can be considered to have memristance, but they are not passive devices.

The definition of the memristor is based solely on the fundamental circuit variables of current and voltage and their time-integrals, just like the resistor, capacitor, and inductor. Unlike those three elements however, which are allowed in linear time-invariant or LTI system theory, memristors of interest have a nonlinear function and may be described by any of a variety of functions of net charge. There is no such thing as a standard memristor. Instead, each device implements a particular function, wherein the integral of voltage determines the integral of current, and vice versa. A linear time-invariant memristor is simply a conventional resistor.

Courtesy : wikipedia

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