Pilot assisted readout for passive memristor crossbars

Rawan Naous, et al., "Pilot assisted readout for passive memristor crossbars." Microelectronics Journal 54, 2016 48.

The high demands for performance and energy efficiency pose significant challenges for computational systems. Memristor-based crossbar architectures are actively considered as vital rivals for the traditional solutions. Nonetheless, density and energy driven passive array structures, that lack a switching control per cell, suffer from sneak paths that limit the range of accurate operation of the crossbar array. In this paper, the crossbar array is treated as a communication channel with added distortion to represent the sneak current. Estimation techniques based on preset pilots are utilized to alleviate the distorting effects and enhance the system throughput. A two dimensional setting of these reference points leads to an accurate estimation of and compensation for the sneak paths effects. Thereby a comprehensive technique is presented that boosts the performance and accommodates functional metrics of speed, energy efficiency, accuracy and density all within a single envelope. SPICE simulations cover the data patterns dependencies, the non-linearity impact, and the crossbar distortion. It offers a further validation, from several aspects, on the reliable operation attained with the complete separation of the high and low bits regions.