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Information for Researchers No. 55 | 9 July 2019
Priority Programme “Memristive Devices Toward Smart Technical Systems” (SPP 2262)

In March 2019, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Memristive Devices Toward Smart Technical Systems” (SPP 2262). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the first three-year funding period (starting in mid-2020).

A multitude of different devices manufactured in distinct technologies can be classified as memristors or memristive devices. Their most popular application field so far is the non-volatile memory sector. However, in-memory processing, neuromorphic computing, machine learning, are other emerging areas of practical interest. The MemrisTec programme is devoted to seven main research areas, three concerning theoretical and experimental studies, and four focusing on applications. The integration between experimental results and theory is crucial for advancing the understanding of memristive dynamics. The development of innovative mem-computing paradigms and their implementation through novel memristive circuits and systems will enable fast, adaptive, and low-power data sensing, storage and processing, as required in IoT applications. Memristor-based dynamic processors, extending the functionalities of conventional purely-CMOS computing systems, will be prototyped.

The two distinct scientific communities, working on the physical realisation of memristive devices, on one side, and on the theory of memristors, on the other side, have not yet agreed on joining complementary strengths to make effective use of memristors’ potential on the system level. However, breakthrough advances necessitate a tight connection between these two worlds. Therefore, an essential requirement for a MemrisTec project is a strong interaction between a partner, responsible for the realisation of physical devices, and another one, engaged with theoretical studies, toward a common application-oriented goal. Proposals focused on one of the two pillars only, will not be considered for funding. Physics-based considerations will set the boundary conditions for the system-level design, which, in its turn, will guide the conceptual development of novel signal processing strategies, whose hardware implementation will then require the synthesis of new device concepts and circuit architectures. The focus of a MemrisTec project may stretch over almost any resistive switching technology. However, technologies based upon magnetic effects will not be considered, since they are object of extensive research elsewhere. For the same reason, all non-volatile memory concepts, as well as standard approaches to neuromorphic system design, delivering non-full custom ASICs, fully-digital electronics, or Von-Neumann hardware architectures, are excluded from MemrisTec research.

Theoretical and experimental research: electrical characterisation, modelling and simulation of memristive devices
Studies shall be devoted to develop accurate, numerically-stable, and compact models for the resistive switching dynamics of memristors on the basis of electrical characterisation tests. The availability of circuit simulation-friendly model representations, robust against changed in inputs/initial conditions/parameter space, are particularly beneficial to explore the full potential of memristors in electronics through mixed-signal simulations on both physical and system levels.

System-theoretic model investigation to support circuit design
The models shall be analysed on the basis of concepts from nonlinear system theory, so as to gain a good understanding for the nonlinear dynamics of memristive devices, enabling a conscious design of circuits, which, by harnessing their peculiar capabilities, may process data more efficiently than standard CMOS ones.

Architectural studies: from data processing strategies to circuit and system implementations
Memristors allow a revolution in the way data have been processed in electronics so far. Their multi-level low-power data storage capability, combined with peculiar computing functionalities, enables the introduction of non Von-Neumann processing paradigms, known as near-memory or in-memory computing concepts, for future high-performance embedded processing systems or smart sensors for IoT, Cyber-Physical System, and Edge Computing applications. The architecture of purely-memristive and hybrid memristive/CMOS circuits shall be explored toward the design of innovative electronic systems, allowing to implement such unconventional data processing paradigms, enabling IC performance growth beyond the Moore era.

Applications of the MemrisTec Research Priority Programme
With their rich dynamics and the combined capability to sense, store, process, and encrypt data in a common medium, memristor nano-devices offer the opportunity to realise smart miniaturised technical systems, which, implementing non-standard computing paradigms, may address the IoT industry demanding requirements more efficiently than state-of-the-art hardware. Practical applications under focus include:

  • design of innovative adaptive analogue circuits
  • development of mem-computing arrays
  • synthesis of data encryption systems
  • realisation of data sensing devices

Within the framework of the Priority Programme, the DFG encourages the submission of projects envisioning a close interaction between theoreticians and experimentalists, toward the development of memristor-centered bio-inspired, reconfigurable, energy-efficient and real-time computing systems.

Proposals must be written in English, and submitted via elan, the DFG portal for project submissions by 15 October 2019. To enter a new project within this Priority Programme, go to Proposal Submission – New Project/Draft Proposal – Priority Programmes and select “SPP 2262” from the current list of calls.

In preparing a proposal, please review the programme guidelines (form 50.05, section B), and follow the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from the elan portal. Besides submitting the proposal through elan, please send an electronic copy to the Priority Programme coordinator.

Applicants must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not yet registered, please note that you must do so by 1 October 2019, in order to be able to submit a proposal under this call. Applicants, requesting the elan registration after this date, shall be excluded from the proposal review process. Confirmation of an elan registration is usually received within one working day. The Priority Programme call needs to be indicated during the elan registration and at the proposal submission stage.

Further Information

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 1.91, 50.05, 53.01 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:

  • Prof. Dr. Ronald Tetzlaff,
    Chair of Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering, Institute of Circuits and Systems,
    Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
    Faculty of Computer Science,
    TU Dresden,
    Mommsenstr. 12,
    01062 Dresden,
    phone: +49 351 463 33326/-32154,
    Link auf E-Mailronald.tetzlaff@tu-dresden.de

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Programme contact:

Administrative contact:

Note:

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