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CogniGron Seminar: Martin Salinga (I. Physikalisches Institut IA, RWTH Aachen) - How resistively switching materials open up new ways to process information

When:Th 16-11-2017 14:00 - 15:00
Where:Energy Academy Building 5159.0291

In the age of information vast amounts of data are available for processing. With the development of the ‘internet of things’, self-driving cars, etc. on the horizon, a further enormous expansion can be expected in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, the demand for devices that are capable of analysing such a plethora of data is increasing.

However, after decades of perfecting computers with conventional architecture it is now clear that these will never be able to show the efficiency seen in biological neural networks. Current research thus endeavours to employ the principles of those natural examples applying various levels of abstraction. Instead of running software emulating a neural network on common computers, industry and academia are increasingly turning towards dedicated hardware tailor-made for this new purpose.

Hence, the research field of neuromorphic computing attempts to answer the following questions: Which features should the corresponding fundamental hardware components ideally have, and which materials are particularly suitable for realizing these components based on their intrinsic properties? Resistively switching materials, whose application in next-generation electronic data storage was recently introduced to the market as Intel’s 3D-Xpoint, could also form the basis of a new technology for neuromorphic information processing. An analysis of the characteristic properties of this class of materials, in particular their switching kinetics, will form the basis for a discussion of their application potential in the area of neuromorphic electronics.

More about Martin Salinga:
Martin Salinga is a permanent academic staff member at the institute for physics of new materials at RWTH Aachen University. After a total of two years abroad with research stays at Harvard University and the IBM Almaden Research Center in the Silicon Valley he returned to his alma mater, RWTH Aachen, at the end of 2006. Here he continued his studies of the switching behaviour of phase change materials. After receiving his doctoral degree in physics he accepted a permanent position as leader of a research group in summer 2008. Since July 2011 he is principal investigator in the collaborative research centre 'Nanoswitches' and as manager of this consortium he is also member of its steering committee. Here, his research is concerned with the dynamics of resistively switching materials and their application in novel electronic devices. In 2013 the existing collaboration between Martin Salinga's team at RWTH Aachen University and IBM was intensified when the European Commission granted funds for a bilateral partnership named DIASPORA. In 2017 Martin Salinga spent six months at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in the department for “Cloud & Computing Infrastructure” exploring functional materials and novel devices for memory and cognitive technologies. For his research on neuromorphic hardware he currently holds a Starting Grant from the European Research Council.