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Hardware Technology

Memristor Based RAM Could Be Out By 2009 142

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the new-shiny dept.
neural.disruption writes "According to the EETimes, HP is announcing that it 'plans to unveil RRAM prototype chips based on memristors with crossbar arrays in 2009.' I don't know if you remember the earlier story about HP Labs proving the existence of the Memristor that had been predicted in 1971 by Leon Chua, and has the nice property of maintaining a memory of the current that passes by it. This could bring us a new type of small non-volatile high-speed RAM at low cost because of the low complexity of the mechanism employed."
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Memristor Based RAM Could Be Out By 2009

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  • by Dwedit (232252) on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:25PM (#24159091) Homepage

    MRAM does exist, it replaces battery backed 32KB SRAM chips.

  • Re:Security Concerns (Score:4, Informative)

    by AllIGotWasThisNick (1309495) on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:26PM (#24159099)

    near-instant-on effect

    Now if only disk IO was actually the major delay in the boot process. You might consider driver initialization, software initialization, network delays, waiting for user interaction, etc.

  • by fpgaprogrammer (1086859) on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:53PM (#24159341) Homepage
    I'm currently using Magneto-RAM [freescale.com] in a project. I'm also interested in the development of Carbon Nanotube-based NRAM from Nantero [nantero.com]. Density is more important than speed for most NV storage applications. Unless the cost structure and density changes substantially vs Flash ROM, these types of exotic NV RAMs are going to be useful only in situations that require a lot of write accesses: like storing the directory info for a cheaper/larger Flash-ROM array which can't support as many write cycles. Even in these situations the exotic NV RAMs are just a replacement for SRAM and a Battery which is cheaper because the structure, processes and materials are standard.
  • Re:Security Concerns (Score:3, Informative)

    by neokushan (932374) on Friday July 11, 2008 @06:17PM (#24159541)

    I like how you've immediately assumed that I'm simply impatient just because YOU'VE never experienced what I'm referring to.
    I notice in the list of electronic devices you have, none of them are Satellite/Cable boxes or Tivo-like devices.
    I have one such device, it's a Cable box with a hard drive built into it and it takes a solid 2-3mins to start up.
    Sure, that's not a big deal, it doesn't really bother me that much since I'm only missing 2-3mins of crap TV, but what does bother me is that the people who make it (Virgin Media, in case you're wondering - and it's British Company, don't want you assuming I'm making something up just because you may not have heard of it) say that you're not supposed to turn it off anyway.
    Why would I want to keep such a box on 24/7 if I'm not even going to use it half of the time? Makes sense if I want to record something, sure, but I rarely record something every single day, or during the night when I'm asleep - so why not turn it off? It saves me money on electric and it saves the environment a little.
    But I digress, the point is there ARE set-top boxes out there that take a long time to boot, so don't be so ignorant.
    Besides, that was just ONE example where this technology could actually prove useful, I don't see you suggesting anything better.

  • Re:Security Concerns (Score:4, Informative)

    by Smidge204 (605297) on Friday July 11, 2008 @07:06PM (#24159961) Journal

    The difference is current RAM needs to be maintained. Suspend to RAM doesn't help in a power outage and/or dead battery condition.

    Otherwise yes, they're pretty much the same thing.

  • Even better (Score:3, Informative)

    by Korin43 (881732) on Friday July 11, 2008 @07:17PM (#24160039) Homepage
    Windows bootup using i-ram (hard drive made out of DDR memory): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PiYgBhAkAM [youtube.com] This seems like it should be similar to what they are talking about.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2008 @07:23PM (#24160093)

    If I recall my signal processing terminology correctly, this is still a linear device, but it's time-varying. A resistor is linear and time invariant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2008 @08:39PM (#24160671)

    Technically, he predicted the existence of a non-linear memristor. A linear memristor is exactly the same thing as regular resistor.

    Actually you are wrong, it has nothing to do with what you've said.
    The resistance of a memristor changes with current and direction of the current. It will increase when it flows one way and decrease otherwise.
    A resistor has always the same resistance(with a small margin of error)regardless the direction of the current and the current.
    A linear memristor would be some memristor that would increase and decrease the resistance in a linear way that has nothing to do with resistors.

  • Information about... (Score:5, Informative)

    by neural.disruption (1290844) on Friday July 11, 2008 @08:56PM (#24160787)
    Memristors and how they work: HP Labs Memristor FAQ. [hp.com]

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