Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HP Set to Improve RAM/VRAM and More With "Memristors" Which Emulate Human Brain Synapse Responces

For a while now computer manufacturers have been concerned with the future of electronic memory. There has been talk of Carbon nano-tube electron prisons, quantum synapse structures, and googles idea of using electron impressions on tiny pieces of glass all as potential solutions for fitting ever more transistors onto a single chip and managing to keep the heat and energy use down. But it seems that HP has taken a different route. 
Picture taken from CNN, courtesy of HP.

The so called "Memristors" that HP is working with and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (HSI) of Icheon, Korea, (The world’s top tier memory semiconductor supplier offering Dynamic Random Access Memory chips (DRAMs), Flash memory chips (NAND Flash) and CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) for a wide range of distinguished customers globally.) To develop and bring to market the new technology. The team has revealed in a press release that they will first attempt to use the technology to make Re-RAM a non-volatile memory solution that can work as a DRAM or hard drive type storage.*

The memristor works differently then typical RAM solutions which involve storing charges in capacitors and transistors and refreshing working effectively as a binary system of "On/true" when an electron is present and "Off/false" when the cell is vacant. The Memristor however works by pushing 
electrons across a titanium dioxide chip, they nudge atoms ever so slightly, sometimes no more than a nanometer.

These subtle bumps record changes in the data.

Which could significantly change how our future computing will work, no longer will we have to rely on a "true/false" system, by using a variable movement system we get "How much" as such HP estimates that the system is 100 times as fast as flash storage and uses about a 10th of the energy. If these figures are accurate its quite possible that we will see the battery life of devices such as MP3 players, notebooks, netbooks and other portable electronics not reliant on radio signals (radio drains a great deal of battery power) increase greatly, anywhere from double to 10x!

Another Interesting comment from HP is that due to Memristor's non-binary nature it is possible for it to preform logical functions in addition to storing data, which could have the effect of combining processors and their memory in the near future! 

Although no date has been official released I believe that since HP has already entered a partnership with Hynix that we should be seeing Memristor products within the next 5-10 years.

*Volatile in electronic memory refers to the transistor/capacitor's inability to maintain its charge without a constant electric current. 



  1. Does this mean it can become self aware?

  2. best header ever

  3. can you make the font a little bit larger in the comments? A little hard to read!

    Just here to show some support. ;)


  4. I don't know whats going on with the formating, every time I try to change it it just ends up resetting, I'll keep trying but try to bear with it for now.

  5. Awesome. Gotta love technology.

    Incidentally, within what kind of time do you think we'd be likely to see the other things you mentioned? Carbon nano-tubing and whatnot.

  6. this tech would be a big step in the eyes of some companys buuuut in my opinion its just rubbish.
    how often do we get to know about huge advances in some tech like ram or cpu and this stuff but after all its just the same kinda thing only with more speed?

  7. Woah, so is this like artificial intelligence?

  8. great, terminator is going to happen now. Start stocking up on EMP weapons.

  9. Umm, I don't understand all the terminator comments, by me saying it can preform logical function I meant that it can double as a processor, to become self aware it would need some hefty programming on top of that.