37 years in the making

Mind blowing? “To find something new, and yet so fundamental, in the mature field of electrical engineering is a big surprise, and has significant implications for the future of computer science,” Dr R Stanley Williams, lead researcher HP Labs.

So HP Labs claim to have built a once-theoretical basic component for electrical engineering the memristor to retain an amount of electrical charge which flows through it. The concept came about in 1971 from a University of California researcher who said that the memristor was the missing companion to the resistor, capacitor and inductor devices we know and love.
HP sees the memristor eventually replacing conventional DRAM chips, allowing system memory to retain data after being shut down and virtually eliminating the concept of a booting process when the machine is turned on.
And because it can retain more than just a logical 1-0 state the technology could even change the way computers function, eventually mimicking the human brain. Such machines could learn from previous experience and retain information for future use in associating events and recognising patterns – like a neural network but much much faster and simpler.

Also the quick start mobile phone, game or PDA may at last be a possibility thank goodness. I thought this correspondent had an interesting take.


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