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Front Neurosci. 2013 Oct 31;7:186. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00186. eCollection 2013.

Stochastic learning in oxide binary synaptic device for neuromorphic computing.

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Department of Electrical Engineering, Center for Integrated Systems, Stanford University Stanford, CA, USA ; School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, Arizona State University Tempe, AZ, USA.


Hardware implementation of neuromorphic computing is attractive as a computing paradigm beyond the conventional digital computing. In this work, we show that the SET (off-to-on) transition of metal oxide resistive switching memory becomes probabilistic under a weak programming condition. The switching variability of the binary synaptic device implements a stochastic learning rule. Such stochastic SET transition was statistically measured and modeled for a simulation of a winner-take-all network for competitive learning. The simulation illustrates that with such stochastic learning, the orientation classification function of input patterns can be effectively realized. The system performance metrics were compared between the conventional approach using the analog synapse and the approach in this work that employs the binary synapse utilizing the stochastic learning. The feasibility of using binary synapse in the neurormorphic computing may relax the constraints to engineer continuous multilevel intermediate states and widens the material choice for the synaptic device design.


binary synapse; neuromorphic computing; oxide RRAM; resistive switching; stochastic learning; switching variability; synaptic device

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