Sunday, June 17, 2012

Memory Resistor Patents at ICAP Patent Auction

In the last year several semiconductor companies including Hewlett-Packard (in collaboration with Hynix Semiconductor), Sharp (in collaporation with Elpida), Panasonic, and Sandisk have estimated that a new form of nonvolatile memory called ReRAM would begin replacing Flash, DRAM, and SRAM starting in 2013. Researchers from HP and several academics have also brought attention to a theoretical circuit element from the 1970's called a memristor. Although the memristor theory is flawed as a theoretical model (link) it has increased interest in resistance switching materials leading to funding by DARPA and NSF in exploring new applications for these materials.

Back in 2006, while a graduate student at George Mason University, I had begun research in resistance switching materials and patenting electronic circuit designs based on these materials. At the time I approached a few different companies (HP, Micron Technologies, Unity Semiconductor) with my ideas but there was not much interest. However, since there seems to be more interest now I decided to put my patents related to memory resistors up for auction at ICAP's patent brokerage. A presentation from the 1st memristor and memristive systems symposium at UC Berkeley describing my patented technology is available on slideshare (link). Below is a quote from the ICAP patent lot summary (link):

Value Proposition: With priority dates from 2006, the patents in this portfolio describe programmable crossbar circuit architectures using memory resistor materials. The disclosures provide for a crossbar array circuit architecture that offers solutions to the sneak path problem of ReRAM memory arrays and the integration of memory resistor materials with semiconductor electronics. This architecture can be used in physical devices to make them capable of performing a linear transformation of the input signals into output signals. The disclosed crossbar arrays are programmable and can be used in signal processing applications such as wave function generation, control systems, signal filtering, communications, and pattern recognition. This architecture also improves the speed and flexibility of electronic devices.

More information is available by contacting ICAP (link) or by e-mailing