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HP Hardware Technology

HP Creates First Hybrid Memristor Chip 155

An anonymous reader writes "HP researchers have built the first functioning hybrid memristor-transistor chip. Lead researcher Stanley Williams and his team built the very first memristor — the '4th fundamental element' of integrated circuits after resistors, capacitors and inductors — back in April. Memristors can remember their resistance, leading to novel electronic capabilities. The new FPGA circuit uses memristors to perform tasks normally carried out by (many more) transistors and is therefore smaller, more power efficient and cheaper to make, HP says. Memristors could also turn out to be a more compact, faster alternative to flash memory."
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HP Creates First Hybrid Memristor Chip

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  • by Xerolooper ( 1247258 ) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @01:06PM (#25887819)
    It depends on whether they realize how bad the economic situation is. Right now they still think we are in a recension. The old business model of innovation to drive sales is valid in that circumstance. If they start to think we are going into a depression *cough* then they will cut off research and start fortifying existing tech. I for one hope this technology has enough momentum to carry it through.
  • Spice model (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kmahan ( 80459 ) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @01:07PM (#25887831)

    Is there a spice model available?

  • From the article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KalvinB ( 205500 ) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @01:25PM (#25888081) Homepage

    "Williams says. Still, he predicts that memristors will arrive in commercial circuits within the next three years."

    It seems fast because nobody was talking about these things for the last 30 years. It's only because of technological advances in circuit printing and general computing that we can make these things and integrate them without having to develop a lot of additional technology. The transistor is very old but only after developing a lot of supporting tech have we been able to shrink them down to fit billions in a processor. That same tech can already be applied to memristors. We don't need to wait decades before we can shrink a memristor down to practical levels for ICs.

  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @01:26PM (#25888087)
    Mmmmmmmm. Milla Jovovich
  • by mo ( 2873 ) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @01:39PM (#25888333)
    The reason that memristors were so quick to market is that they were discovered while researching new fabrication processes. This isn't like, say, carbon nanotubes where they're able to make one or two in a lab. For memristors, they had a fabrication process from day one.
  • by Sanat ( 702 ) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @01:45PM (#25888455)

    Binary was chosen earlier in computer work for it could represent accurately a digit representive such as 1001 equals 9. Also magnetic core memory could hold only the two states.

    With memristors (once they are perfected) can have multi-state such as trinary (base 3) or decinary (base 10) eliminating all of the conversion that is neccessary in the present binary system that require cpu cycles. 123 in the decinary system represents 123 where in binary it would be 1111011 and need to be converted in order to be meaningful.

    For instance I have heard for those studying DNA that using base 12 has certain benefits in directly expressing information. Perhaps this will open a whole new arena of possibility that previously could only be simulated in binary.

    The mind can imagine many new possibilities if the memristor actually is.

  • Re:size? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @01:57PM (#25888649)

    the plots appear to be generated by a mathematical model rather than a laboratory experiment

    This is what I would say "NEXT!" for, but to each their own.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zordak ( 123132 ) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @02:11PM (#25888861) Homepage Journal
    Right. Because they are also the world's leading producer of Carly Fiorina, which pretty much cancels out anything good they do.
  • by thechuckbenz ( 526254 ) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @03:31PM (#25889981)
    Careful with your comments there - DRAM is relatively slow because the capacitors used are tiny, so sensing the charge state is slow. The need to refresh is because it's a capacitor with non-zero leakage. Refresh cycles sometimes will delay normal accesses, but are not the reason that DRAM is slower than SRAM. The speed of memresistor memory reads will depend on the speed of sensing the state, and the speed of writes will depend on the speed of changing the flux.
  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zordak ( 123132 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @11:02AM (#25899573) Homepage Journal
    I know. If she were still at HP, she would still be in production. Now that she's used HP as a springboard, she thinks she's going to be a senator or something. So before HP she was just irritating to whomever knew her. Now she gets to irritate the whole world.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"