Tuesday, April 29, 2008

HP Labs Develops “Memristor�? -- A New Type of Electronic Circuit

Researchers from HP Labs are developing a "memristor" -- a blend of "memory resistor" -- had previously been only theorized as the fourth fundamental circuit element in electrical engineering. The "memristor", which has the unique property of retaining a history of the information it has acquired, promises a new level of innovation in electronics.

In a paper published in today's edition of Nature, four researchers at HP Labs' Information and Quantum Systems Lab, led by R. Stanley Williams, presented the mathematical model and a physical example of a "memristor."

HP said the innovation could lead to the development of a new kind of computer memory that would supplement and eventually replace today's commonly used dynamic random access memory (DRAM). Computers using conventional DRAM lack the ability to retain information once they lose power. A memristor-based computer would retain its information after losing power and would not require the boot-up process, resulting in the consumption of less power and wasted time. Other applications could include the memory and storage systems used in data centers and in cloud-computing clusters.

Leon Chua, a distinguished faculty member in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department of the University of California at Berkeley, initially theorized about and named the element in an academic paper published 37 years ago. Chua argued that the memristor was the fourth fundamental circuit element, along with the resistor, capacitor and inductor, and that it had properties that could not be duplicated by any combination of the other three elements.http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/quantum_systems.html

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