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HP Hardware Technology

The HP Memristor Debate 62 62

New submitter AaronLS writes "There has been a debate about whether HP has or has not developed a memristor. Since it's something fairly different from existing technologies, and similar in many ways to a memristor, I think they felt comfortable using the term. However, the company has been criticized for using that labeling by former U.S. patent officer Blaise Moutett. On the other hand, had HP created a new, unique label, they would have probably gotten flack for pretending it's something new when it's not. Will anything positive come from this debate? Electrical engineering analyst Martin Reynolds sums it up nicely: 'Is Stan Williams being sloppy by calling it a "memristor"? Yeah, he is. Is Blaise Moutett being pedantic in saying it is not a "memristor"? Yeah, he is. [...] At the end of day, it doesn't matter how it works as long as it gives us the ability to build devices with really high density storage.'"
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The HP Memristor Debate

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  • Re:Memristors (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @07:17PM (#40771055)

    Summary of the memristor and this controversy at Memristor Identity Crisis [].

  • Re:Memristors (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @07:19PM (#40771083) Journal

    Keep reading. The basic idea is here:

    The resistance of a memristor depends on the integral of the input applied to the terminals (rather than on the instantaneous value of the input

    It's like a resistor but the resistance varies based on the current applied to it in the past.

  • by FrankSchwab (675585) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @08:09PM (#40771559) Journal

    The comment above ( is more informative - a real Memristor is defined in terms of electric and magnetic fields. The HP memristor looks just like a real one, but doesn't involve a magnetic field at all.

  • by Matimus (598096) <> on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @08:34PM (#40771753)
    I came here to say precisely this. It isn't an 'ideal' component. Which is what the theory is based on. But then neither is any electrical component you can think of. Even resistors stop being linear at very high or very low voltages / currents. Anybody ever seen an ideal current source? An ideal voltage source? And ideal op-amp? Its not ideal because it is a real device. Ideal components only exist on paper.
  • by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @12:20AM (#40773197) Journal

    The above comments were unusually clueless, so here's a new topic, way at the bottom.

    Do any of the previous posters have any actual experience dealing with memristors? My phone rang off the hook when this BS story hit the Internet a few years ago. I worked at QuckLogic, where we built "memristors", but failed to have the marketing brilliance to call them anything other than "antifuses". I don't blame the guy at HP who did pull this off. That's how the game is played.

    Here's reality. "Memristors" are the basis of Actel and QuickLogic antifuse based FPGAs. We had them characterized years before they were discovered by HP. The more charge you put through them, the lower the resistance. If you put current the other way, the resistance goes up. It was somewhat linear, so I have to beat myself up for not calling them memristors.

    HP won the marketing round. However, people now have high expectations for this technology making something useful. If they want to make programmable logic out of it, they should talk to someone like me.

A fail-safe circuit will destroy others. -- Klipstein