Will memristors change everything?

Transistors fueled the IT revolution and they are a crucial element in every electronic device. Memristors aim to do the same revolution and will, if the prophecy is right, give us much more storage, much more energy efficient and faster hardware.

Leon Chua first discovered the memristor in 1973 - unfortunately he only discovered it in theory. Chua postulated that a memristor is a missing circuit element - he based his theory on symmetry and mathematical properties:

Circuit elements

In 2008 a team at HP Labs were able to create a memristor. Currently the hype around memristor is big and their potential seems to be huge. Some of the prospects are:

  • much more space efficient persistent storage that's as fast as RAM. Prospect: 128TB in a package that's small as a sugar cube
  • ability to be reconfigured to be either memory or CPU
  • much more energy efficient than today's hardware

I won't go into details of how memristors work or how they are used as High Scability has written a really good and detailed article:

Also check out these two videos by R. Stanley Williams (who made the first memristor):

9. May 2010 Code · Code improvement · Design · Interesting · Tips
© Amir Salihefendic