Electronics Weekly announces a new memory technology in development by HP. The memristor (memory resistor) wafers are expected to be ready to market as a substitute for flash storage within the next 18 months. With continued development, the memristors ultimately serve as a replacement for conventional DRAM and SRAM. Senior Fellow at HP, Stan Williams, says, “We’re planning to put a replacement chip on the market to go up against flash within a year and a half, and we also intend to have an SSD replacement available in a year and a half.” In the short term, this benefits HP because they’re the second largest purchaser in the world of flash memory, and Williams says the in-house production helps disrupt and rearrange their supply chain.
Ultimately, the big advantage of memristor technology lies in the ability to layer them directly on top of a processor layer, resulting in fast “systems on a chip”. According to the nanoREV blog, the memristor is a fourth fundamental circuit element after the resistor, capacitor, and inductor. HP deserves some credit for its discovery, but IBM researchers discovered a similar effect with thin film oxides as far back as in 2000, and Samsung patented a similar material back in 2006.
With HP’s claims of their memristor technology’s readiness to replace DRAM by no later than 2015 and an admission that Samsung has an even larger group of people working on the technology than they do, we’re certain to see it changing the way computers are put together soon!