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Memristors have relatively simple behavior: they're a type of circuitry where the present resistance to current is a product of the currents that have flowed through them in the past. The more current that goes through, the easier it will travel through in the future. Interest in memristors comes in part from the fact that the resistance persists even after current is turned off, making them a possible option for non-volatile memory.

But the behavior of memristors is also fairly similar to that of a radically different type of circuitry: the synapses of neurons. Synapses are sites where nerve cells establish connections. The more signals that pass through these connections, the stronger the link between the two neurons becomes...

The neural network was trained to identify three letters (V, N, and Z), including the possibility of single-pixel errors. After a single time through the training set, the network was able to successfully identify all three letters, although performance continued to improve with further experience. Several aspects of the underlying calculations were performed by the traditional hardware, but the memristors handled the most computationally intense work...

Neural network chip built using memristors | Ars Technica

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