University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Diffusive Memristor as a Synapse
Neuromorphic computing, systems designed to mimic the biological nervous system, require far less power than current computer processors. The increased efficiency makes feasible artificial intelligence applications for smaller, hand-held devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets).  To this end, UMass inventors have designed hardware components that mimic neuronal synapses (Figure A). Specifically, diffusive Ag-in-oxide memristors show a temporal response during and after stimulation similar to that of a biological synapse. The novel diffusive memristor and its synapse-like dynamics enable a direct emulation of both short- and long-term plasticity of biological synapses and represent a major advancement in a hardware implementation for neuromorphic computing.
Published: 10/27/2017   |   Inventor(s): Jinhua (Joshua) Yang, Qiangfei Xia, Mark McLean, Qing Wu, Mark Barnell
Category(s): Devices, Engineering, Physical Science, Communications & internet, Computers
Novel Systems for Improved Backscatter Tag Communications
A new fully asymmetric backscatter communication protocol where nodes blindly transmit data as and when they sense. This model enables fully flexible node designs, from extraordinarily power efficient backscatter radios that consume barely a few micro-watts to high-throughput radios that can stream at hundreds of Kbps while consuming a paltry tens of micro-watts.



Published: 8/11/2017   |   Inventor(s): Deepak Ganesan, Pan Hu, Pengyu Zhang
Category(s): Communications & internet, Devices & sensors, Electronics, Engineering, Software & information technology
FS Backscatter Communication
The Frequency-Shifted (FS) Backscatter invention promotes practical backscatter communication for ultra-low power on-body sensors by leveraging radios on existing smart phones and wearables. This invention addresses the self-interference from the wireless carrier without relying on built-in capability to cancel or reject the carrier interference.  Utilizing this invention, the tag shifts the carrier signal to an adjacent non-overlapping frequency band and isolates the spectrum of the backscatter signal from the spectrum of the primary signal to enable more robust decoding.
Published: 9/14/2016   |   Inventor(s): Deepak Ganesan, Pengyu Zhang
Category(s): Communications & internet, Devices & sensors, Electronics, Engineering, Software & information technology
Braidio - Assymetric Transceiver for Mobile Devices
Published: 9/14/2016   |   Inventor(s): Deepak Ganesan, Pan Hu
Category(s): Communications & internet, Devices & sensors, Electronics, Engineering, Software & information technology
Memristive devices are characterized by their present resistance being dependent on the current that last passed through them.  In this invention, a memristive RF switch is created by having two micro-electrodes with a small air gap, e.g., 50nm or less, between them.  When in the “off” state, the air gap between the electrodes gives the device a very high resistance.  When a “setting voltage” is applied between the electrodes, a conductive filament is self-created from one electrode, which bridges the air gap and contacts the other electrode.  The device in now the “on” state, and resistance is very low.  To turn the device off again, a “resetting voltage” having opposite polarity is applied, and the conductive filament’s connection to the other electrode is broken.

Published: 6/8/2015   |   Inventor(s): Qiangfei Xia, Joseph Bardin, Shuang Pi
Category(s): Electronics, Communications & internet, Devices & sensors, Computers
All Silicon Based Memristive Devices and Arrays
A new low power resistance random access memory (RRAM) device based on silicon materials has been invented. RRAM devices are non-volatile memory devicesas well as promising candidates to replace FLASH memory and become the front runner among non-volatile memories. Instead of charge storage, RRAM uses high and low resistance as state variables. RRAM devices are attractive due to their fast switch speed, overwrite ability without erase, low power consumption, high endurance and long retention times. However, RRAM devices with low programming voltages and excellent device-to-device performance repeatability are still yet to be implemented. The current invention addresses these issues. Moreover, unlike other RRAM devices currently under development, these devices use only silicon-based materials making them compatible with CMOS technology. Altogether, these improvements make this new RRAM device an attractive option for commercial development.
Published: 1/29/2015   |   Inventor(s): Qiangfei Xia
Category(s): Electronics, Devices, Communications & internet, Computers
Plug and Play Hybrid Power Control System
A novel approach to the design, operation and control of hybrid power generation systems, via an integrated communication network. Components (energy generators, consumers, support and control equipment) of the system are connected by 2 pathways, one for the distribution of energy, and the other for communications between components. 
Published: 11/19/2014   |   Inventor(s): James Manwell, Utama Abdulwahid
Category(s): Software & information technology, Communications & internet
Reduced Height, Wide Bandwidth Array of Doubly Mirrored Balanced Antipodal Vivaldi Antenna with Magnetic Slot
A number of modifications to the geometry of a conventional Balanced Antipodal Vivaldi Antenna (cBAVA) were made to improve performance.    This design also incorporates modular construction to improve manufacturability and facilitate replacement of defective portions of the phased array.
Published: 11/19/2014   |   Inventor(s): Daniel Schaubert, MohdWajih Elsallal
Category(s): Devices & sensors, Electronics, Communications & internet
Wireless Security Improvement Using Physical Layer Properties
Scientists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have developed a new information-theoretic-secure technology for wireless security that utilizes environmental randomness (true randomness) to generate the sharing secrecy. Every time there is a communication between two legitimate users, generation of the secret key is done using the previous interaction's secret key; this makes it impossible for a hacker to arrive at it.


To summarize, the new technology uses a novel technique to ensure that only valid users can communicate using a wireless connection. Unauthorized computers are excluded from all communications. The technology involves minor modifications in the physical layer and will work well along with WPA and WPA2 as an additional secure layer.

Published: 11/17/2014   |   Inventor(s): Sheng Xiao, Weibo Gong
Category(s): Communications & internet, Software & information technology